Cardamon Rice

6 Cups Cooked Rice

There’s nothing more basic or delicious than fragrant white rice, particularly when you toss in a few smashed pods of cardamom. I prefer the fluffy long-grain varieties such as Basmati and jasmine, which are sold in Asian markets. The cooking time varies depending on the rice, so test the rice for doneness and cook until JUST tender. It will continue cooking even after being removed from the heat.

2 cups long-grain rice
3 pods cardamom, smashed with the flat side of a knife
3 1/4 cups water

  1. Put the rice in a bowl and, using your fingers as a rake, rinse the rice under cold running water to remove some of the talc. Drain the rice in a strainer.
  2. Put the rice, water, and smashed cardamom in a heavy, 2-quart saucepan with a lid. Heat, uncovered, to the boiling point. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and craters appear on the surface. Remove from the heat and fluff lightly with a fork to separate the grains. Serve, or, if using for fried rice, spread the rice out in a thin layer on a tray. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Simple Raita

Four to Six Servings
1 ½ cups low-fat Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)

  1. Mix together the yogurt, cumin, and chile flakes (if using) in a bowl and serve with the curry and rice.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Cinnamon Curry Rice

From Spoonful of Ginger

Makes six servings. Other vegetables and cubed meats may be added as garnishes.

4 sticks cinnamon
3 3/4 cups water
2 cups long-grain rice
2 1/2 teaspoons safflower or corn oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons good-quality curry powder
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 to 4 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 1/12 cups)
3 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cooked peas (if using frozen, thaw to room temperature)

Sauce (mixed together):
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine or sake
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put the cinnamon sticks and the water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat. Under cold running water, rinse the rice in a saucepan until the water runs clear. Drain and add the rice to the cinnamon water. Bring the water to a boil again, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer covered for 17 minutes, or until craters appear in the surface of the rice and the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and fluff the cooked grains with a fork. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then uncover and spread the rice out on a cookie sheet with a fork to cool completely. Discard the cinnamon sticks. (The rice should be cold or at least room-temperature before stir-frying.)
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet. Add the safflower or corn oil and heat until hot. Add the leeks and garlic, and stir-fry over medium heat until slightly softened and translucent. Add the curry powder and stir-fry for 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the carrots, turnips, rice wine, and water, and partially cover. Cook about 5 to 8 minutes, until tender, then add the cooked rice, breaking it up with a spatula. Add the peas and the premixed Sauce. Toss lightly to coat the ingredients and spoon into a serving dish. Serve hot.

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