Christmas is this week. Yes. It is in 3 days :O How can that be! I love this season and just the feeling surrounding it. Everything seems more beautiful (even if it is unnecessarily rushed). It always makes me pause and see those little bits of beauty in the more mundane things. A simple recipe with a most common whole grain: rice. You wouldn't think to showcase it simply boiled and plated, but cook it with some glorious aromatic flavors and the beauty will take your breath away.
December’s Theme: Grab a Book & Cook - It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect: ReDux has been around for 42 months! (Can you believe some of you have ReDux-ed 42 recipes?) To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 42 or 142. We can’t wait to see the books you’re cooking from these days – and how you make that recipe healthier.
I wanted to pick a random cookbook from my ever-growing collection. I love cookbooks! They are just so beautiful and bursting with inspiration. I chose The Indian Vegan Kitchen, by: Madhu Gadia. I also chose the recipe on page 142 for inspiration. I didn't follow the recipe much at all, but used the theme of the flavorings and spices mostly.
So speaking of beautiful things, I think Indian cuisine is one of the most beauty in terms of culinary colors, flavors, and aromas. My spice cabinet is always stocked with the essential Indian spices. The smells and flavors always just amaze me by how simply beautiful they can make a dish. You can take any boring ingredient, like rice, and make it something so much more.
Chana Masala is my favorite dish of all time. It really is. Probably one of the easiest Indian dishes to make too. This time I found that dried fruit rice pretty intriguing though. It sounded not only beautifully spiced, but also perfect for the holidays. However, I took it to a whole other level by cooking it in coconut milk, adding pomegranate instead of dried fruits, nixed the nuts, kept the spices, added fresh mint, and changed the type of rice used.
I've never cooked with coconut milk before either. And let me tell you, that was a mistake! I have now unlocked that perfect secret to the most flavorful creamy rice! Substitute half the amount of liquid for coconut milk and you will be in flavor heaven. This rice came out perfectly probably for the fact that I also cooked it way ahead of dinner time so I wasn't rushing, and actually let it cook and steam for the correct amount of time! I never do that with rice. 45 to 50 minutes is just way to long! But if you do it ahead of time when you have the time, it really does make all the difference for perfect fluffy soft rice!
Since I told you on Friday to make some room on your Christmas menu for this one, I hope you listened! Step away from the traditional sides and bring some exotic international flavor to the table! Not only is this dish elegant to look at, but it smell and taste beautiful too! You will wow your family, friends, guests, anyone you have in the house with this one I assure you.
Indian Christmas Rice
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
+ 1 Cup Water
+ 1 Cup Lite Culinary Coconut Milk
+ 1 Cup Country Wild Rice(Rinsed)
+ 1 Cinnamon Stick
+ 1 Bay Leaf
+ ⅛ Tsp Cardamom
+ ⅛ Tsp Cloves
+ ⅛ tsp Cumin
+ ½ Cup Fresh Pomegranate Arils
+ 2 TB Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
+ 2 TB Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves
+ In a medium pot, add the first 8 ingredients. Cover and bring the pot to a boil on the stove. Then reduce the heat to simmer for 45-50 minutes.
+ When the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed, remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Put the cover back on the pot and let sit for 10 minutes.
+ In the meantime, seed your pomegranate. I like to grab a large bowl, fill it with water, cut the pom in half or fourths and de-seed with my fingers under the water. This will allow the seeds to sink to the bottom while the white skin and pith with float to the top, allowing you to skim that off and then drain the seeds in a colander. It also make things less messy with no staining!
+ Now add the pomegranate, chopped mint, and coconut to the pot. Fluff everything with a fork and serve!
I hope you get to make and enjoy this one! It was surprisingly a crowd-pleaser with my family of non-foodies! My mom AND brother loved it! They usually shy away from the exotic flavors, but I knew they had to love this one! I also know I will be making this again ASAP! Now get cooking and start creating beautiful things in the kitchen! Christmas is about the love, family, joy, and the beauty in everything. From the tree to the rice, everything is beautiful!
So tell me:
+ Do you have your Christmas dinner menu all planned out? No...I do not! :O
+ Have you ever cooked with coconut milk?
+ Are you as impatient with rice like I am? Those wild blend just take forever, but taste so good!
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