Monday, 10 June 2013
I was born in July, so most every celebration that I can remember for my birthday involves a barbecue. I know its near that time, well summer, when I start to think about making this rice dish. I call it summer rice here but it is really my Aunt Moira's recipe. My Aunt, despite what she thinks is a good cook and she used to feed lots of us in family gatherings at her house with delicious food and with ease.
She made this rice to go along with her Chilli, served with pitta breads - it seemed terribly exotic to me at the time. And I never forget how good her Chilli tasted, it was ever so slightly sweet and went so well with this rice.
You make it by frying an onion in olive oil, with as many crushed or chopped garlic cloves as you like, then you add a finely chopped red pepper. Once the onions and pepper start to brown a little add your rice. You can use basmati or long grain, although my Aunt used long grain and I do too. Stir the rice in the vegetables until coated in the oil, then add a teaspoon and a half of turmeric and a table spoon of white wine vinegar. This rice works on the 'double the amount of water as rice' absorption principle. For example if I make it for the four of us I use a standard mug of rice to two of water. It is easily doubled. Pour in your water and crumble in one chicken or vegetable stock cube, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Just when the water is about to be absorbed completely I turn off the gas, put a tea towel over the pan and put the lid on top. After 5 minutes or so fork it up and transfer to a serving bowl.
I find that this rice is a great accompaniment to a barbecue, where you may have grilled some vegetables or chicken, or maybe some veggie burgers. With a green salad and a potato salad you have a good mix of dishes. The bonus is that small children love it as well as adults, and its good the next day with a little lemon olive oil stirred through.
And yes that is a retro sprinkling of smoked paprika on the top!