Thai Green Rice

from
3/4 cup brown basmati rice

1 1/2 cups boiling water (divided)
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1 green chili (optional)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, tightly packed
1 2cm/1-inch piece fresh ginger
1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon ground nut oil (or other neutral oil)
1/4 cup cashew nuts, halved
1 7cm/3inch piece cinnamon
3 whole cloves
6 whole peppercorns
1 red onion, finely sliced

1/4 cup frozen or thawed green peas
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
cilantro leaves to garnish

Serves 2 as main, 4 as side dish
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Pour 3/4 cup of boiling water over the desiccated coconut and let stand for a few minutes.

Place coconut mixture, cilantro, ginger, garlic and chili in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

In a medium pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and cashew halves and fry for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add sliced onions and fry until softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut mixture and cook for another 3 minutes.
Now add peas, salt and remaining 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir gently, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low heat until all liquid has absorbed and rice is al dente, about 15-20 minutes (cooking times vary with each brand of rice).

Remove the piece of cinnamon. Sprinkle in the lime juice. Stir in chopped cilantro leaves. Fork the rice gently to remove the grains. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
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