Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sluttishly Simple: Aromatic Rice

Any chance I get to add more flavour to something, I'm there. Wether its adding powdered stocks and fresh herbs to my Yorkshire puddings or chucking penny sweets into bottles of vodka I never miss an opportunity to play around with my food and drink.

So if I'm making a curry I may throw a couple of cinnamon sticks and crushed cardamon pods into my rice and Chinese food may get a star anise or some sliced ginger, basically whatever I have knocking about at the time! This rice recipe is fab for Thai food as you get a really nice lemongrass and garlic flavour coming through that won't overpower your main dish (unless you add loads of garlic!). When making Thai food I often peel the outer skin from the lemongrass and use this along with the woody bits for the rice so nothing goes to waste. I always use Basmati rice though as it never fails to give me perfect fluffy rice wether I use the cheapest or the more expensive and 9 times out of 10 its the cheapest and it works every time.

You'll need:
  • Basmati rice
  • cold water
  • lemongrass
  • finely sliced garlic (I use dried slices from the Chinese supermarket)
Make it!
  1. Measure out your rice using a big mug (allow 1 mug per person) into a saucepan. Cover with water then put your hand in and scrunch the rice about a bit to remove the starch. Drain and repeat until your water runs away clear then add twice as many cups of water than rice to the pan.
  2. Throw in your lemongrass and garlic slivers then stir and pop the lid on tightly before bringing to the boil on maximum heat. As soon as it reaches the boil turn the heat down to the minimum setting for 5 minutes only. After 5 minutes turn the heat off and leave for about 7 minutes. It's REALLY important that you don't remove the lid during the entire cooking process as your rice is steam cooking. When its ready remove any big bits of lemongrass and fluff with a fork. 
Tips:
I often use chicken or veg stock in place of water when making rice and sometimes some grated coconut cream bar.  A few strands of saffron or pinch of turmeric will give it a beautiful golden colour and if you have any jasmine flower tea pop one of the flowers in for delicately scented jasmine rice.

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