Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:29:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice http://steamykitchen.com/39725-lemon-cinnamon-curry-leaf-basmati-rice-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/39725-lemon-cinnamon-curry-leaf-basmati-rice-recipe.html#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 17:03:29 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=39725 In this Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice recipe: Flavoring plain basmati rice with fragrant cinnamon, curry leaf and lemon Stunning presentation, rice baked in a pan Customize with your own spice and herb combination Recipe from award-winning chef, Yotam Ottolenghi This past week, my parents came to visit for a few days, to see the family, relax from the ...

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Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice Recipe

In this Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice recipe:

  • Flavoring plain basmati rice with fragrant cinnamon, curry leaf and lemon
  • Stunning presentation, rice baked in a pan
  • Customize with your own spice and herb combination
  • Recipe from award-winning chef, Yotam Ottolenghi

This past week, my parents came to visit for a few days, to see the family, relax from the bustle of Las Vegas, where they reside, and to cook for their daughter (me!) My Mom is a cookbook collector of all cuisines, with an entire room in the house dedicated to her glorious collection.

During this visit, I let my Mom have a go at my own glut of cookbooks that I’ve collected over the years, many of which come directly from publishers, pitching their latest releases. In what I would describe as one of the greatest gifts that I could bestow upon my Mother, I told her, “You may have any of my cookbooks – take as many as you’d like!”

My Mom gleefully spent hours sitting in front of my bookshelf, sliding one cookbook off at a time, flipping through them, and sorting which she would like. Mom doesn’t have many hobbies, but cooking and cookbooks are one of them.

I didn’t peek. I didn’t tell her which books were hands off, and I didn’t even hide any of my favorites! Mom was thrilled and even sent me a photo after she arrived back home – of her haul.

It wasn’t until today, writing this post, that I panicked a little. “What if she took Plenty More Cookbook?!”

I’m not ashamed to tell you that I did run back to the bookshelves, scanned quickly but didn’t find it on my first pass – and my heart sank. My second pass on the shelves spotted the book, sitting safe and sound right in front of me. “Whew!”

Plenty MoreI’m not the only who loves this book, Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi was nominated as a finalist in the James Beard Awards. It’s well deserved, with 150 recipes featuring vegetables, and stunning, earthy photographs that highlight creative cooking techniques beyond the simple braise, boil and bake.

Yotam Ottolenghi HeadshotWhy I cherish Plenty More Cookbook:
We’re thrilled to be sharing with you a recipe from the book, Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Rice.

With all the fun gadgets at my disposal for making rice (I love to use the microwave to cook rice or my ultra fancy, technology wizard Zojurishi Rice Cooker), I rarely bake rice.

Such a shame, because the technique produces rice that is cooked more evenly and produces a nuttier, more flavorful rice. If you add aromatics, like lemon, cinnamon sticks and curry leaf, “this will be a revelation…” notes Ottolenghi.

What is curry leaf?

Curry leaf are the leaves of a South Asian curry tree, often used in Southern Indian, Cambodian and Malaysian cooking. The flavor is complex, pungently lemon, and is added to dishes as a whole leaf. The curry leaf is deeply aromatic, just a few leaves can flavor an entire dish. It’s called curry leaf, because the leaf is most often added into Indian curries, though I really love stir frying with whole curry leaves too.

We used have a curry tree growing at our old house, but sadly, it died after being forgotten in a corner of our garden. These days, when I need curry leaves, I head to a local Indian grocery store. If you can’t find the leaves fresh, they will probably have them frozen. The leaves freeze really well! If you buy a bunch, feel free to freeze the rest. The color of the leave will darken when frozen, but the flavor will be preserved.

More about Curry Leaves

What if I don’t have curry leaves?

No problem! Use any herb that you love – from basil, parsley, bay leaves….to sage, oregano, cilantro and dill. Of course, the flavor profile of the rice will be different from the intended recipe, but use any spice/herb combination with this same exact cooking technique.

Learn more about Plenty More and Yotam Ottolenghi

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi

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Lemon, Cinnamon and Curry Leaf Basmati Rice Recipe

Servings: Serves 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes
Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice Recipe

Reprinted with permission from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photography credit: Jonathan Lovekin © 2014

This will be a revelation to those who tend toward plain steamed basmati. The method is fail-safe, and the result is stunning. Serve this rice with an Asian savory pickle to make a vegetarian meal, or next to a freshly roasted chicken. Try to look for fresh curry leaves for this dish, using them on the stem. They freeze well, so don’t worry if you end up getting a large bunch.

Ingredients:

5 short cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
1 lemon
3 stems fresh curry leaves (about 25 leaves)
2 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Directions:

Prep:
In a large bowl, add the basmati rice. Fill bowl with water, swish the rice around a bit, drain the water (just use your hands to cup the rice and keep from spilling out), and repeat again. Fill again with water and let rice soak for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat your oven to 400F. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off of the lemon in large strips (yellow part only). Cut lemon in half, squeeze out 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.

Cook:
Put the cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon rind, curry leaves, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a saucepan. Cover with 2-3/4 cups of water and place over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove the pan from the heat.

Spread the rice out in a baking dish or roasting pan approximately 9-1/2 by 12 inches, cover with the boiled water and aromatics, and stir well. Lay a piece of waxed paper over the surface of the water and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes, then remove and leave to sit, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Just before serving, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once it’s melted and very hot, carefully add the lemon juice and swirl together to mix. Pour this over the hot rice and fluff up the rice with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at once (you can remove the curry stems and cinnamon sticks or keep for the look).

 

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Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice (Polow) http://steamykitchen.com/119-persian-sour-cherry-saffron-rice-polow.html http://steamykitchen.com/119-persian-sour-cherry-saffron-rice-polow.html#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2007 13:03:45 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/06/12/persian-sour-cherry-saffron-rice-polow/ Luscious sour cherries....saffron....basmati rice....if there ever was a rice dish that could tease me into submission, this would be it. When I lived in Hollywood, I used to frequent a Persian restaurant and order just a big ginormous platter of cherry saffron rice with two 16" spears of hunky shish kababs. A dish designed for two, consumed by one, me.

By the way that I talk about food, you'd think I have an eating disorder addiction obsession. When presented with a food that ...

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Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice

Luscious sour cherries….saffron….basmati rice….if there ever was a rice dish that could tease me into submission, this would be it. When I lived in Hollywood, I used to frequent a Persian restaurant and order just a big ginormous platter of cherry saffron rice with two 16″ spears of hunky shish kababs. A dish designed for two, consumed by one, me.

By the way that I talk about food, you’d think I have an eating disorder addiction obsession. When presented with a food that seranades me to a sweet trance, I simply must consume. In fact, I eat more than my 5’11” 195 pound husband. I have no idea where it all goes. Maybe, just maybe I am a chosen one and possess something extraordinary. There are some who are gifted with such lovely musical talents they can bring you to tears with a single note. Some artists can create gorgeous landscapes that make you feel lost in its beauty. And others are so mathematically inclined they can complete the Rubic’s Cube in 60 seconds (my husband.)

My talent? I have been blessed superhuman strong toes (I can strangle a snake with a single, swift motion…which comes in handy when living in Florida), I can wiggle both my ears without touching them (don’t ask my why I consider that a talent) and I have a bottomless belly (one serving is never enough). If I were a super hero, I’d be Bottomless Belly Babe!

Thats SO SEXY you know.

How that all relates is beyond me. Did I stand in the wrong line when God handed out talents? Did I oversleep when the auction took place and I got the obscure, leftover talents? Anyhow, back to the rice. Imagine a golden rice dish dancing with the intoxicating flavors of saffron, tart cherries and drizzled with a sweet, dark, sticky cherry syrup. Thats what Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice is.

cherries

I order my sour cherries from Quality Spices. This brand, Zergut, is great – its imported by Indo-European based in Glendale, CA. My mom in Los Angeles buys this at the Middle-Eastern store. You can use canned sour cherries for pie making as well, found at your standard grocery store. With the quality is not quite as good as Zergut, it definitely will work. Just get the canned version that has sour cherries packed in light syrup, not heavy syrup. See photo below: the clear bowl contains boiled-down sugary syrup for drizzling on rice.

sour cherries

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Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
persian-sour-cherry-saffron-rice-polow

Ingredients:

1 24-oz jar of sour cherries in light syrup (or 1 can sour pie cherry, light syrup), drained and syrup reserved
1/2 teaspoon saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons hot water
3 cups basmati rice
1/2 cup butter, melted (I use clarified butter, but regular butter will work)
1 cup sugar

Directions:

1. Soak the rice: Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 2 hours. This step is not totally necessary, but it does produce a more tender rice.

2. Make the rice: Drain the rice. Fill a large pot with water and boil. Add the rice and boil on medium heat for 8 minutes exactly. Drain the rice and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Drain. In the same pot over high heat, add half of the butter. When hot: Add half of the drained rice Pour half of the saffron+soaking water over the rice Stir a bit Add half of the drained cherries Add remaining rice Pour rest of saffron+ soaking water Add remaining butter Stir just this layer a bit Add the remaining drained cherries *Traditionally, this is done in a pyramid shape. I'm not coordinated enough to handle that request. The wider the pan you have, the more crusty rice crust you get.

Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice

Wrap your lid with a thin kitchen towel and cover the pot. This helps the steam stay in the pot, which is important because you aren't adding any additional liquid to the pot. Cook on high for 10 minutes (to create a nice crunchy crust). Turn heat down to super-low for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Make the syrup: While rice is cooking, cook syrup + 1 cup sugar over medium heat for 30 minutes until it reduces down to a sweet, sticky syrup. Set aside.

4. Serve: When the rice is done, drizzle 1/2 cup of the syrup over the rice. See the nice crust of rice at the bottom of the pan? Its well known that household bribery, deception and wars have erupted over who gets to eat that part!

Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice

Thanks for guessing what was in the rice. Ashley & Wandering Chopsticks were spot-on. A question for my Indian and Middle Eastern friends – are the words Biryani and Polow both used similarly? I always thought Biryani was an Indian dish and Polow is Persian. Is there an Indian version of cherry rice that is different than the Persian? -Tigers & Strawberries has a version with lamb -Chopoholic made Persian Sour Cherry Saffron Rice with Chicken Kebabs seasoned with Pomegranate Paste.

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Saffron Rice http://steamykitchen.com/74-saffron-rice.html http://steamykitchen.com/74-saffron-rice.html#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2007 00:05:23 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/04/17/saffron-rice/ Here’s another great rice recipe when plain basmati rice just won’t do. The saffon adds such a lovely, bright golden color to the rice, in contrast with the crimson saffron threads dispersed throughout. Saffron rice has a delicate, floral aroma that you can’t duplicate with any other spice. There are 3 secrets making this rice.

Secret #1: Use good quality saffron. Don’t buy the cheap stuff. Everyone says ...

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Saffron Rice

Here’s another great rice recipe when plain basmati rice just won’t do. The saffon adds such a lovely, bright golden color to the rice, in contrast with the crimson saffron threads dispersed throughout. Saffron rice has a delicate, floral aroma that you can’t duplicate with any other spice. There are 3 secrets making this rice.

Secret #1: Use good quality saffron. Don’t buy the cheap stuff. Everyone says that saffron is the world’s most expensive spice – true if you are counting ounce per ounce. But you use so little of it each time. Here’s the key to buying saffron. The threads should be almost all bright red. If you see yellow, that means when the threads were harvested, they picked the flower portion that was STIGMA (a.k.a. expensive good stuff) and STIGMA (bad, tasteless shit). I purchase my saffron from www.saffron.com. For $40, I get the absolute best quality stuff and it will last me many, many scrumptious dishes. Another note on using saffron – you should soak the threads in a little bit of hot water to really open up the spice and release its flavor. Use the threads+soaking water in your dish.

Secret #2: Fry onions before steaming the rice. It gives rice an earthy, caramelized onion flavor. You can substitute minced shallots for the onions.

Secret #3: Salt. Everything tastes better with salt. This rice comes alive when you add something salty to it. In this recipe, I used broth instead of water to steam the rice. Use fresh, canned or concentrated broth base. Now its time to be creative. Use secrets #2 and #3 and make your own rice recipe with your favorite spices. Here are some of my favorite combinations. – Cumin + a couple tablespoonfuls of tomato paste for Mexican rice – Dried oregano + basil (basically any dried leafy herb mixture) – Curry powder + raisins – A few dashes of soy sauce + sesame oil + minced green onions after the rice is done steaming – Garlic powder + stir in chopped fresh parsley after rice is done steaming – Any of the above + stir in thawed frozen peas after rice is done steaming.

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Saffron Basmati Rice

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
saffron-rice

Ingredients:

2 cups Basmati Rice
3 ½ cups Broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 pinch Saffron threads soaked in 2T hot water for 10 minutes
1 tsp Salt
2 T olive oil
½ cup diced onions

Directions:

1. Wash and drain the rice. In 4-qt pot, heat with olive oil over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onions and fry for 3 minutes, until softened and light brown. Stir in rice, broth, saffron + soaking water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Once it starts boiling, immediately cover and turn to low heat.

3. Let the rice cook on low heat, undisturbed (no peeking!) for 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Let sit for another 5 minutes covered to finish steaming. Use a fork to fluff up the rice.

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