Thursday, August 9, 2012

Turmeric Rice with lentils - cooked in a rice cooker

The turmeric makes this rice bright yellow.  My friend Y taught me how to make it many years ago.  She made it like risotto but I like this no fuss, rice cooker version better.  It tastes almost the same, but is far less effort to make.  Plus, you can prepare the ingredients before hand, then set the timer on your cooker so that it will be ready when you are.

There are basically two kinds of rice cookers, the 'standard North American' style and the 'standard Japanese' style.  (I use quotes because that's how I think of them).  I like the latter better as it has a closer fitting lid and makes a more consistent bowl of rice.  Plus it makes a pleasant tune when the rice is ready.  If you local Japanese food store doesn't have these, you can pick one up at Amazon.

I adore my elephant mark (Zojirushi) make rice cooker.  I can hardly believe how many years I spent agonizing over how to cook my rice before I got this.  Now I take it with me if I have to travel anywhere for more than a day.

I like to use white rice for this as it picks up the colour of the turmeric better.  There are plenty of other things in here like the raisins and lentils to add fibre to your meal, so you needent feel guilty about not using brown rice.  If you do use brown rice, adjust your water accordingly.

VEGANS: this is easy to make vegan friendly.  Either use vegi broth or water for the rice, or you can make your own vegan friendly dashi with a seaweed known as Kombu (kelp).

Turmeric Rice with lentils - cooked in a rice cooker

2 cups short grain rice (Japanese or American cup - pick one and stick with it for the rest of the recipe!)
2 cups dashi, vegi broth or water
1/3 a sweet onion
1 clove garlic
2 table spoons cooked lentils
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp turmeric
olive oil

  • Measure the rice and wash it in cold water at least three times, until the water rinses clear.  Drain the rice and set aside.
  • Chop up the onion and garlic really fine, so the pieces are little bigger than a grain of rice.
  • In a medium to large pan, slowly fry the garlic and onions with the olive oil, on medium-low heat until they start to go transparent.
  • Add the turmeric to the onions and stir well.  Make sure the turmeric doesn't form any lumps

  • Add the lentils and raisins, stir well, then add the rice.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until the rice absorbs the oils and flavours.  About two minutes, then poor it all into your rice cooker bowl
  • Add the dashi/vegi stock or water (dashi tastes best) and mix well.  Add a few pinches of salt or a tsp of soy sauce (this is important, as it brings all the flavours together, don't omit the salt).
  • Set you rice cooker to Mixed Rice setting. 

Note: most rice cookers come with their own rice cup measure.  This is not the same size as 1 cup usually used in cooking.  If you want to use the rice cooker cup to measure the rice, use it to measure the water too.  If you use a regular cup, then use that to measure the water.  But please don't mix them up, this will result in terrible rice.

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