Friday, 2 October 2009
Rice was not something that my mother ever cooked for us when I was growing up. I think it was because my dad liked meat and potatoes. I was an adult before I ever tasted rice, and that was at a chinese restaurant! (and to be honest, I was a bit afraid that I wouldn't like it, or how it felt in my mouth) I was totally wrong. I fell in love with it.
High in nutrients, rice is a great source of insoluable fibre. Rich in carbohydrates and low in fat, it's a pretty healthy choice. (as long as you aren't on a low carb diet that is) Rice is an extremely healthy food for a number of reasons. Rice is a complex carbohydrate, which means that it contains starch and fiber. Complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, allowing the body to utilize the energy released over a longer period which is nutritionally efficient. It's low in sodium and gluten free. With only trace amounts of fat and no cholesterol at all, it's pretty good for people on diets, and it's not surprising that most of the world relies on rice as a major part of it's diet.
I love Basamati rice most of all. I could just sit and eat a bowl of it and nothing else.
I especially love this particular recipe of mine where I combine it with rich coconut milk, ginger, red chili flakes and nuts.
It's mmm . . . mmm . . . good.
*Ginger Spiced Coconut Rice*
This is my absolute favourite rice recipe. It has a bit of heat from the candied ginger and the red pepper flakes, but this goes very well with the coconut flavour. This goes great with most Asian dishes.
200g of basamati rice (1 cup)
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
2 ounces water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp tumeric
1 tsp grated fresh ginger-root
finely chopped crystallized ginger (a heaped dessertspoon)
toasted sliced almonds (a small handful)
Rinse the rice under running cold water. Drain and place in a saucepan along with the coconut milk, water, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes, tumeric and fresh ginger-root. Stir well to combine. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture just begins to come to the boil. Reduce heat immediately to low, cover, and cook on low for about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover again and let sit for 5 miore minutes. Garnish the finished rice with the candied ginger and the toasted nut flakes. Delicious!
Note - Don't forget that it's really important to cool cooked rice down quickly before storing, and to reheat it thoroughly to a high temperature before using again. Uncooked rice can contain spores of Bacillus cereus, bacteria that can cause food poisoning. When the rice is cooked, the spores can survive. Then, if the rice is left standing at room temperature, the spores will germinate into bacteria. These bacteria will multiply and may produce toxins (poisons) that cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Reheating the rice won't get rid of these toxins. The longer cooked rice is left at room temperature, the more likely it is that bacteria, or the toxins they produce, could stop the rice being safe to eat. It's best to serve rice when it has just been cooked. If that isn't possible, cool the rice as quickly as possible (ideally within one hour) and keep it in the fridge for no more than one day until reheating.
Remember that when you reheat any food, you should always check that it's steaming hot all the way through, and avoid reheating more than once.