Rice is always a welcome side dish in my home. Lately we've switched to brown rice and I have to say the entire family enjoys the nutty flavor of brown rice. We loved this particular recipe because the toasted cashews really accentuate the natural nutty flavor of the brown rice. Not to mention, the added texture and crunch of the cashews is really nice. The pops of color from the cubed carrots, sliced scallions, and black sesame seeds make this very easy on the eyes.
If you're looking for a new rice dish this is it! I served this alongside some roasted chicken legs and broccoli and it was a delicious pairing. In fact we loved the broccoli when mixed with the rice and found ourselves mixing it in. Next time I would probably go ahead and add the broccoli straight to the rice. It was a wonderful combination of colors and flavors!
Brown Rice, Carrot, and Cashew Pilau
Adapted from Nigel Slater
via The Guardian
Serves 2 as a main course
Serves 4 as a side
The Recipe: Scrub and finely dice two medium carrots. Warm a slice of butter and a little oil in a frying pan, add a couple of roughly chopped spring onions and then the diced carrots. Let the carrots and spring onions colour lightly then add three whole cloves and a teaspoon of ground coriander. Add 200g (equivalent of 1 cup) brown basmati rice and 500ml of vegetable stock, bring to the boil, season generously with salt, then cover tightly with a lid and turn down the heat so the rice simmers gently. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is almost tender. Leave to settle, still covered with a lid, for 10 minutes. Toast a couple of handfuls of cashews in a dry pan until they are lightly brown and set aside. Remove the lid from the rice, add two teaspoons of nigella seed, one teaspoon of garam masala, a thick slice of butter and the cashews. Fork the butter, nuts and spices through the mixture, stirring well, then serve.
Tricks and Tips: I always wash my rice three times in a bowl of warm water, swishing the rice round with my fingers. This removes any surface starch and helps to keep the rice separate. Partly necessity and partly ritual, it is probably only truly necessary to do this once, but I have always done it three times and my rice never sticks. It's best cooked with a tight lid and is done when deep holes appear on the surface. Peep occasionally to check.
A Few Twists: Use parsnip instead of carrot, but cook a little longer before adding the rice, so the roots are really sweet and caramelised. Use white rice, cooking it for a shorter time. It will take about 12 minutes depending on the type of rice and how soft you like it. I have used soft spicing here, but for a hotter mix use ground chilli, cumin and paprika. Add these while the carrots are cooking rather than at the end.
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