Safe to say, there was always rice in our house growing up. I learnt how to cook rice well and learnt how to cook it badly! All over my blog you might have had the impression that I’m obsessed with making the ‘perfect’ jollof rice. While that might be true (😉) I am aware that other rice dishes are available. It was therefore a real joy and pleasure to make this coconut rice, yet another recipe from the Afro Vegan cookbook. Again easy to make and put together, it’s a winner for me. If I had made a nice spicy stew, this would have gone perfectly with it. I didn’t but I did end up mixing it with my asaro (yam pottage) which added the kick that complemented the rice.
400 g/14oz jasmine rice
1 red onion, finely diced
2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cm/ 1/2 in ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 red peppers, deseeded and diced
1 Scotch bonnet, deseeded and diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp fine salt
260g/9 1/4 oz can full-fat coconut milk
260ml/8 3/4 fl oz vegetable stock
1 tbsp sugar (optional)
1/2 small red cabbage
Gently stir the rice in water to remove the starch, then drain and repeat until the water stays clear.
Sauté the onion in the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, red peppers and Scotch bonnet and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf, curry powder, thyme, nutmeg and salt.
Pour in the coconut milk and stock (and add the sugar if you want to sweeten the rice). Bring to the boil, then tip in the rice. Cover and turn down to a rapid simmer, leaving to cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely shred the red cabbage; a mandolin helps. Reduce the heat again and place the red cabbage on top of the rice. Don’t store it in. Cook, covered, for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it sit (don’t stir) for up to 10 minutes, the fluff, scraping any delicious crispy rice from the bottom of the pan (the best part!).
You could garnish, if you like, with some toasted coconut flakes, chilli flakes, lime zest, lime wedges for squeezing or chilli sauce.
REFERENCE: Afro Vegan Family recipes from a British-Nigerian kitchen. Page 73.
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