Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Curried Red Rice

This Indian-inspired recipe is what I would consider a food-geek's pantry meal.  It consists almost entirely of things that I routinely stock in my kitchen, such as frozen peas, coconut milk, and red rice.  Bhutanese red rice is available at specialty markets and is definitely worth a try if you are feeling bored with your usual whole grains.  It is an heirloom rice grown in the Himalayas with a gorgeous rosy tint and a nutty flavor.  Another advantage to red rice is that it cooks much faster than brown because, let's face it, sometimes you just don't want to spend an hour on dinner! 

If you don't stock red rice in your pantry, any ol' rice will do (you might have to adjust the cooking time).  We turned this side-dish into a meal by toasting some home-made chickpea patties, chopping them into bite-sized pieces and mixing them in just before serving.  This rice will compliment just about any protein, so use what you have or just throw in a can of chickpeas!

Curried Red Rice
Serves 4

3/4 cup red rice
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1 T curry powder (salt-free)
2 tsp salt
1 10-oz package frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup raisins
fresh cilantro leaves

In a medium saucepan, add rice, coconut milk and water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add curry powder and salt and stir to combine.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice absorbs most of the liquid, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Some of the coconut milk solids will have risen to the top.

Stir mixture to incorporate milk solids.  Add peas and raisins, mix to combine, and cover pan again.  Heat mixture until raisins plump and peas are heated, about 10 more minutes.  Serve with plenty of fresh cilantro leaves on top.

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