Rice with Shredded Carrots and Coconut
This is pale golden rice marbled with shredded carrots and toasted shredded coconut. A touch of raisins adds a little sweetness. You may want to remove the whole cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon stick before serving, as they are not meant to be eaten. This is a good choice for luncheon or evening menus along with any dal soup or tossed salad. This dish is quick, colorful, aromatic and, most important, delicious.
Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
• Basmati or other long-grain white rice – 1 cup (95 g)
• Ghee or vegetable oil – 2 table spoons (30 ml)
• Sesame seeds – 1 ½ table spoons (22 ml)
• Whole cloves – 6
• Black peppercorns – 6
• Piece of cinnamon stick – 1 ½ inch (4 cm)
• Fresh or dried shredded coconut – 3 table spoons (45 ml)
• Water – 1 2/3 -2 cups (400-480 ml)
• Scraped and shredded carrots (about 8 ounces/230 g) – 1 ½ cups (360 ml)
• Salt – 1 ¼ teaspoons (6 ml)
• Raisins or currants – 2 table spoons (30 ml)
1. If basmati rice is used, clean, wash, soak and drain as explained on page 4.
2. Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy 1 ½ -quart/liter nonstick saucepan over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the sesame seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and coconut. Stir-fry until the coconut turns light brown. Stir the rice into the mixture and fry for a few minutes until the rice grains are slightly translucent.
3. Add the water and the remaining ingredients raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil.
4. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently simmer without stirring for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and the vegetables are tender-crisp and all of the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the fragile grains to firm up. Just before serving, remove the cover and fluff the piping-hot rice with a fork.
By Yamuna Devi Dasi