I like yellow rice, I always have and I’ve always liked it better than long grain and wild rice. I think that stems from when I was a kid, I didn’t like how crunchy and hard the wild rice was. I’ve grown to enjoy the crunchy rice but I think I still like yellow rice a bit better.
For dinner last night, I cooked pork ribs in the crock pot and boiled some green beans. I found a bag of Vigo saffron rice in the cabinet and decided to try to find some add-ins to spice it up a bit.
I found the recipes below here and although I don’t have much experience with Indian food, I wound up liking it more than I thought I would! I will say that not everyone agreed with me about this side dish, the better half didn’t want to eat the nuts, but he said it was “ok”, and the kids don’t much care for rice anyway, so they weren’t that thrilled. They agreed with the better half’s assessment. If you like rice, I’d give it a shot. The flavor of the cashews and the rice were enough to sell me!
Saffron Rice with Peas and Cashews, serves 4-6
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups Basmati rice, well-rinsed and washed
1/2 teaspoon (2 pinches) saffron threads
1 cup unroasted, lightly salted cashew halves
1 cup frozen organic peas
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Wash and drain rice. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 4-quart pot. Add the rice and fry a couple minutes. Add the saffron threads and cashew halves and fry for another minute. Add the peas, fry for a few moments, then add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes.
Take off the lid and turn the heat off. Stir in the garam masala and salt to taste. Let the rice sit to “dry” for a few minutes. Serve.
Since I already had the pre-packaged saffron rice, I cooked my rice without oil or butter until done then I stirred in about 3/4 of a cup frozen peas and 1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews. I followed the ingredients in the recipe for the garam masala, but only used a teaspoon of each to test the taste. I must say, it was really tasty! I’m not by any means a spice connoisseur but I’m certainly not against using more herbs and spices either. I just seem to use the ones I’m already familiar with and the ones I know I like.
Garam Masala, makes about 1/4 cup
2 sticks of cinnamon
10 green cardamom pods
8 black cardamom pods
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
2 dried red chiles
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until fully heated and slightly smoking. Add all ingredients and shake and stir for about a minute, or until the spices smell toasted, are slightly darker, and give off just a slight bit of smoke. Remove from the heat and let cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, and store in an airtight container.