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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Festive Yellow Sri Lankan Rice

Everyone seems to be a little scared of cooking rice. If we do it the old fashioned way in a pot of boiling water, it must be watched. Overcooked rice is really not good. I have many memories of soggy rice from my childhood. Of course now lots of people have rice cookers and microwave rice cookers.
I personally don't have either, but always do it in the microwave, in a casserole dish that can go to the table. A never fail method and if you get distracted it doesn't matter cause it turns itself off.
The water must only come to the joint of your thumb over the rice. This usually means if you have a cup of rice its a cup and half of water, 2 cups of rice 2 and half cups of water.
Place into the microwave for 10 minutes on high, beautiful rice very time. Give it a go.
The other method is the absorption method which many people swear by and its pretty good too.
This is how I cooked this rice, a delicious delicately spiced alternative to plain rice when serving curries. You could add some chopped chicken into it whilst cooking for a complete meal, and toss through some sultanas and toasted almonds at the end just before serving. Serve it with some lamb cutlets or sausages with a salsa for a family meal.
This is probably not the exact method all Sri Lankans use but like all cooks everyone has their own slant on it.

2 cups basmati rice washed and drained thoroughly
Rylstone Olive Oil
1 onion finely sliced
6 cardamon pods
6  black peppercorns
2 cloves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
2 curry leaves
2 teaspoons salt
375 ml  Carnation light and creamy coconut flavoured evaporated milk which has 92% less saturated fat. Alternatively you can use coconut milk.
1 1/2 cups water

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, cook the sliced onions in a good splash of olive oil. Cook them until they change colour slightly. Then add cardamon pods, peppercorns, cloves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fry for a minute mixing through the onion.
Add some more oil at this stage if your pot is too dry. Add the rice, turmeric salt and curry leaves and fry in the oil coating the rice and spices. Finally add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil.
Then turn it down to very low and put the lid on tightly. If you feel the lid isn't as tight a it should be put some foil over the top and press down at the sides to stop any air escaping.
Cook for 15 minutes use a timer and don't peek, no lid lifting required !
Take off heat immediately cooked and fork through. Beautiful fluffy spiced rice.

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