Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Nice Spice & Rice

Riso Piccante, Vegetariano, Fritto, allo Cocco
Spicy Vegetarian Coconut Fried Rice

It was a long day again today, out of the office, stressful but fun work, but sadly home a little later than I would have preferred... all in a day's work as they say! So by the time I got home, I was not only exhausted, but after having art-directed a photo-shoot for cookies and cakes all day... and having nibbled (A LOT!), I thought supper should be a little lighter... and definitely not be sweet!

So I decided that savory should be the way to go- even a little spicy! being as I had a last handful of okra left over from Saturday, I thought I should use it up and to make something to prove again that it absolutely does not have to become slimy when cooked! I hate that people THINK they don't like okra just because they don't know how to prepare it! Because everybody knows that "it ain't what you do- it's the way that you do it!".

I started off by boiling my rice for 10 minutes in salted water, as usual, but then adding half as much grated coconut as rice 5 minutes before it was done. That means- 2 cups of rice, 1 cup of coconut and 4 cups of water... easy! 

Whilst the rice was gently simmering/steaming away, I got busy with the vegetables. I topped and tailed the okra and then coarsely chopped it, then I also chopped up 3 different colored mini-bell peppers, finely sliced a Spring onion and  plucked a small handful of parsley for garnishing later. 

Next, I started off with the okra, which I sautéed in a little clarified butter. After 2 minutes or so, I added a teaspoon of ginger paste, the chopped up peppers and then after a further 4-5 minutes I stirred-in the rice, which was by now ready and fluffy with coconut... and the transformation of a couple of simple vegetables into a panful of amazing food began!

Once the rice had been added, I also added a teaspoon each of turmeric and Garam Masala and another pat of clarified butter. When the rice had become lightly coated in the butter, I added a handful of raisins and a teaspoon of Tandoori spice, a little cayenne pepper and the juice of half a lime... yummy, yummy, yummy!

Last, but not least came the spring onion, which I added with just a tiny drizzle of honey, then tossed the rice through and then served up with a final sprinkle of Tandoori spice and a decorative (and cooling!) dash of fresh, plain yogurt. This blended in the spices nicely and took the edge off the heat wonderfully. With a few scattered leaves of tender parsley, this was a beautiful, light and terrific vegetarian meal... you see- it can be done! And it should be too! Enjoy!

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