Rice is nice, but curried rice is nicer. After realizing how boring the white stuff can be, and having a forehead smacking epiphany that I CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS, spiced up rice was born. No idea why it took me so long to realize that yes, you can add things to the rice to make it taste better, and no those things don’t have to come from San Fransisco or Uncle Ben, literally the dumbest thing I’ve never thought of, spices in rice. PSH!
So this rice is better. It’s from scratch, gluten-free, vegan if you’d like and so full of kicked-up flavor your little head might burst. Sure you might think the cherries a bit odd, but I didn’t have any raisins and in lieu of the pineapple, I also didn’t have, I think everything turned out pretty darn good. The next day, for lunch, I threw in some broccoli, edamame, and chopped scallions, finished with a drizzle of soy sauce and called it a day.
A delicious day. And even more delicious because I’ve switched my lunch boxes to glass! Yep, I did. So what — they’re a little bit heavier, but they look nice and make the food taste better. At least in my mind. So there you go. Doctor that rice and see where it take you, it might be the road into flavor town. BAM.
2 cups basmati rice – rinsed and drained
1 cup water
1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup or splash of coconut milk – really, whatever ration you want as long as you have 2 1/4 cups liquid overall
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/4 onion minced
2 TB curry powder
2 minced garlic cloves
splash soy sauce
pinch red chili flakes
1/4 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper
splash of oil
++ As an extra – like I did above: I tossed my rice with some steamed and drained edamame beans and broccoli, but this rice is just as nice for a side of chicken, bit of toasty tofu, or a bbq tandoori delight. Take your pick
To start, rinse and drain your rice. Set aside. Heat up oil in your sauce pan, caramelizing the onion and garlic. Add a splash more oil and throw in your spices. Once toasty add in the rice, coconut flakes, cherries. soy and liquid, scraping up an bits that may have formed on the bottom. Bring to a simmer, then cover.
Ok, here’s the funky part about making rice not in a cooker. You can stir the rice gently as long as there is a good amount of water left in the pan. Once the almost puffed up rice begins to break the surface, make sure the temp is slow and leave it alone! You can peek occasionally, but seriously, just leave it. Once the water is all absorbed, I check by sticking a fork down the side of the pot, pulling the rice away from the edge and actually looking — no visible water at the bottom? — then you’re done. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 more minutes. Fluff with a fork, re-cover and give it another 5 minutes to sit and settle.
There you go. Perfect rice.