Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Lemon and Mustard Seed Rice

I first ate this out in the Murchison desert at the excellent Boolardy station, after a long day working on our telescope. We were very well looked-after and the food was amazing. One of the dishes particularly stuck in my mind because it was a really nice way to make rice, subtle but tasty at the same time. A wonderful side dish and somewhere between steamed and egg-fried rice in preparation time. I've scaled this to two people.

  • half a white onion (optional)
  • a ladelful of rice - about 100g
  • 2-3 ladelfuls of vegetable or chicken stock
  • a lemon
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 peppercorns
  • seeds from inside a cardamom pod
  • two tsp black mustard seeds
  • a large chunk of butter

If you feel like including onion (depends on what you're serving this with), finely chop the onion and fry gently in vegetable oil for 5-10 minutes until golden and translucent. Zest the lemon and set the zest aside. Juice the lemon into a separate bowl. Add the rice, stir, and then add the stock, juice and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, crush the spices gently in a mortar and pestle until a little broken up - not pounded into powder. Melt the butter in a small frying pan and add the zest and spices, then fry for a minute or so, until fragrant. Stir through the cooked rice, taste for seasoning, and serve.

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