Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#139 Moroccan Rice

I love rice especially steamed white rice. Before I started this cooking blog, I ate it night and day all year, 365 days of white rice. Now I am more open to eating spiced rice, pasta, breads, other grains and  even go zero carbs for most meals, and I love it! This dish sparked my curiosity in mixing rice with  spices used in Moroccan cuisine because I made Moroccan beef stew that night and did not have the suggested accompaniment on hand, the couscous. So I quickly searched for Moroccan Rice or Bread. I always have rice, and bread takes a while to make, so of course making a delicious rice dish, flavored with fragrant ground spices was a better idea. Although it was very tempting to just plainly steam it, I'm glad I did not succumb to laziness because, this dish is very good! It actually reminds me of  the rice my late grandma use to make on special occasions back in the days, it was yellow and flavorful. A quick look at the bottle of ground turmeric showed a root that looked like ginger. I do not remember what they called the yellow rice dish and was not 100% sure what Ina (what I called my Grandma) and Babo (my other Grandma) used to make it, but after seeing that photograph on the ground turmeric bottle and tasting this dish,  I am pretty sure it was fresh turmeric. :) So we do grow turmeric in the Philippines! Good to know! It is what gave this dish it's nice yellow color. The taste overall is lovely, the raisins bring a pleasant sweetness to the dish, and thumbs-up to the flavor created by the lemon and spices combined. I also used sona masoori rice that I got from costco, which was not tasty when plainly steamed, but it was great for this dish, I read from several sources that it is better than Basmati rice for weight loss. This recipe also calls for almond and pine nuts which I omitted due to our allergies, but even without, it tasted great! When I served it, I forgot to add the cilantro leaves on top, it was tasty, but there was something missing..once I sprinkled  the magical tiny leaves and some of it's stems, what a world of difference it made.  This dish promises big on flavor, so easy to make, so delicious that I can eat by itself,  and yes, it did go well with the stew, it was a perfect marriage of flavors! I'm sure this would be an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats also. I am posting two ways to cook it, one on the stove top, which is how I made it, and one using the microwave oven adapted from this recipe.
Yield: 4 servings 
200 g basmati rice or sona masoori rice
500 -750 ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, halved and finely chopped
65 g slivered almonds
80 g pine nuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch chili powder (to your taste)
65 g raisins
1 lemon, rind cut into very thin strips, juiced
1/3 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
salt  and fresh ground pepper, to taste


(stove top)
  1.  Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear; drain.
  2. Place rice in a pan.
  3. Add enough stock until it covers the rice by 2cm, add oil.
  4. Cover with a lid and boil, then simmer until rice is soft, adding more stock when needed. Rice must not dry up.
  5. Once rice is almost done, add onion,  cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and chili powder
  6. In a separate pan, heat a little bit of olive oil, add the almonds and pine nuts, add to the rice mixture, stir in lemon peel slices and raisins.
  7. Lower the heat, stir the rice every minute until rice is done. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro sprinkled on top. Salt and pepper to taste.
(microwave oven)
  1. Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear; drain.
  2. Place rice in a microwave-safe rice cooker or bowl.
  3. Add enough stock until it covers the rice by 2cm.
  4. Cover with a lid or a double layer of plastic wrap and Cook on High/800watts/100% for 5 minutes.
  5. Cook on Medium/500watts/50% for a further 7 minutes.
  6. Remove from microwave and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile place oil, onion, almonds, pine nuts, raisins, lemon peel cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and chili powder in a microwave safe rice cooker or bowl.
  8. Cook uncovered stirring every minute on High for 3 to 4 minutes or until the nuts are toasted and the mixture is fragrant. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro sprinkled on top. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yummy! What a great discovery!

No comments:

Post a Comment