Fragrant coriander rice


It is Lent.  I usually keep it for 2 weeks and I always end up feeling light and good. Do you know how we Romanian keep Lent? If  you don’t , let me tell you: no meat, eggs, cheese, milk or any other animal products except fish on certain days. But this will not keep me from keeping it.

I have to admit that the recipes that I picked are almost all with some animal product in. This one is one of the few that is without. So it is perfect for Lent. I have taken it from the book “Coriander – A Book of Recipes” and is probably Indian or Arabic, let me know the origin, please. Anyway, it is a very perfumed recipe, fresh and light. I have to admit I am not quite taken about it but the persons who have tried it said it is very good. This is what happens: I make a recipe that I like and end up saying myself how delicious it is and everybody around saying the same, but when I make a recipe and say I am not into it, I always have a surprise: people are telling me it is so good. Don’t take me too seriously; I am just a fussy eater.

About the recipe, there are some ingredients you might not find in Romania, again. But it is ok, you can replace some, you will find them in brackets , and the rice is delicious all the same.

FRAGRANT CORIANDER RICE

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 225 g/ 8 oz/ 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2,5 cm/ 1 in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 7,5 ml/ 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 7,5/ 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 piece of lemon grass, finely chopped
  • grated rind of 2 limes (or lemons)
  • 750 ml/ 1 1/4 pints/ 3 cups vegetable stock (or plain water)
  • 60 ml/ 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • lime (lemon) wedges, to serve

Method:

  • Put the rice into a large bowl of cold water. Swill the grains around with your hands, then tip out cloudy water (the rice will quickly sink to the bottom). Repeat this action about five times. If there is time , soak the rice for about 5 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, spices, lemon grass and grated lime rind. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice, turning it in the mixture to coat the grains. Cook for 1 minute more, then add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Cook gently for 30 minutes, then check the rice; if it still crunchy, cover the pan again and leave for a further 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the fresh coriander, fluff up the grains, cover the pan and leave for 10 minutes. Serve at once, with lime wedges.

Cook’s Tip

Other varieties of rice, such as white basmati or long grain can be used for this dish, but you will need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.

Bon appetite !

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