Recipe – easy pilau rice

I am both coming down with a cold and not managing to work out much at the moment. On Monday I swapped lifting for a really excellent workshop on public speaking; and today I missed yoga for a lunchtime talk on feature flagging. I feel bummed that I haven’t been to the gym, but on the other hand the geek stuff was necessary (and interesting).

I really do not want/need to get a cold at the moment, so I’m going to pick up some drugs on the way home tonight. Fingers crossed I don’t get properly sick!

This recipe isn’t really much of a recipe at all, it’s just a way of cooking rice that makes it extra delicious. I make it when we’re having curry at home – we’ve recently been using Vini & Bal’s excellent sauces & they’re excellent (for lazy people like us!)

Easy (probably not very authentic) pilau rice

White basmati rice, rinsed well in water (see recipe for quantity)
1 tbsp butter or ghee (you can use coconut oil, but olive oil/animal fat won’t work here as they impart too strong a flavour)
3 cloves
1 bay leaf (dried is fine)
1 little-finger sized piece of cinnamon bark
1 green cardamom pod, bruised
1 tsp turmeric (optional – this will turn the rice “curry house yellow”, but the recipe works fine without it)

Put the butter/ghee into a saucepan & melt over a medium-high heat. When it’s foaming, add the spices and fry for a few seconds. Then add the rice.

How much rice you use depends on how many you’re cooking for, but take note of the quantity – you want twice as much water to rice. So, for example, I use half a mugful of rice, so I know that when I add the water, I want a whole mugful of water.

Fry the rice & spices for a minute or two, until all the rice is coated in butter and the spices are fragrant. Then add your water, stir once, and allow to come to a boil. Once it’s boiling, put the lid on the saucepan & turn the heat down low.

Leave the rice cooking, covered, for 15 minutes. After this time, take the lid off the pan and use a metal spoon or fork to “part” the rice & see how much liquid is left. If there’s still bubbles of water, put the lid back on & leave it for another new minutes. Keep checking the rice – but don’t stir it! – until the bottom of the pan looks almost dry (but the rice isn’t starting to burn!) When 99% of the water is gone, take the pan off the heat & fluff the rice up with a fork.

Eat! (But remember to take the spices out first!)

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