How to cook perfect rice

It's highly versatile staple food, but it can be hard to cook. Learn from the masters at Great British Chefs and try these three recipes

Friday 24 March 2017 18:05
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How to make egg-fried rice

​Stir-fried rice with egg, peas and grated raw vegetables by Frances Atkins

This colourful egg-fried rice recipe from Frances Atkins can be served as part of a larger Chinese New Year feast or as a hearty lunch or midweek dinner for kids and adults.

115g of basmati rice
1 onion, finely chopped
​285ml of chicken stock, hot
2-3 handfuls of mint leaves, chopped
1 egg, beaten
55g of peas, cooked
2-3 of handfuls of parsley, chopped
1 knob of butter
1 raw beetroot, grated
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
1 carrot, grated
1 tsp of tomato ketchup
4 cauliflower florets, chopped
1 tsp of natural yoghurt
4 eggs, hard-boiled
sugar
salt
pepper

Place a pan over a medium heat and add the rice, onion and hot chicken stock. Cook until the rice has softened and the liquid has been absorbed​.

Mix a little sugar into the chopped mint leaves. Add the beaten egg to the rice with the peas, parsley and mint. Finish with the butter, add salt and pepper to taste and keep warm. Mix the beetroot with the balsamic vinegar, the carrot with the tomato ketchup and the cauliflower with the natural yoghurt.

Place a spoonful of rice in the middle of a plate and arrange the vegetables around the outside. Chop the hard-boiled eggs, sprinkle over the top and serve immediately.

Rabbit biryani by Shu Han Lee

Have you ever cooked rabbit before? Some may turn up their nose or shudder at the thought of eating one. However, Shu Han believes it’s time to look at rabbit without going doe-eyed and thinking of Watership Down. She argues that rabbit is one of the most sustainable, ethical, and wholesome things you could eat and also makes for a very tasty curry.

For the biryani

1 rabbit, whole and wild, on the bone (about 800g)
​630g of basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes then drained
1 tbsp of sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3 tbsp of ghee, melted
2 handfuls of onion, fried
25g of mint, and coriander, chopped
1 pinch of saffron, soaked in warm water or milk (this colours and flavours the rice golden. I don’t like to use artificial colourings, so there’s no jovial mix of fluorescent orange and yellow in my biryani)

For the marinade

245g of yoghurt
2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
10 cardamom pods
1 tbsp of red chilli powder
2 tsp of turmeric
2 green chillies, finely chopped
25g of mint, and coriander, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 handful of onion, fried and crushed
2 tbsp of ghee, melted
1 tsp of sea salt

First, joint the rabbit. Coat the rabbit pieces in the marinade and leave overnight in the fridge. The next day, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before proceeding.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, with the salt, bay leaf and cinnamon. Parboil the rice (it should be only 70% cooked). Drain. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.5.

In a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pot with a tight lid, place the marinated rabbit at the base of the pot. Cover with a layer of about half of your par-cooked rice. Then scatter half the fried onions, mint and coriander over. Repeat the layering, and then finally finish by drizzling ghee and the saffron liquid all over.

Cover tightly (traditional purists will even seal with a blob of dough) and let cook in the oven for 45 min. When ready, uncover and fork through, tossing the succulent meat together with the golden rice to release all that steam and spicy aromatic fumes.

Zafrani pulao by Alfred Prasad

This zafrani pulao recipe fuses braised basmati rice with cumin, whole spices and saffron for a simple yet flavoursome dish. Alfred Prasad’s recipe makes a delicious accompaniment to any Indian curry; try it with our chicken tikka recipe or with monkfish curry. The tasty rice would also be fantastic paired with a seafood course.

For the pulao

400g of basmati rice
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
salt
2 tbsp of single cream
1 tbsp of unsalted butter
1g of saffron
​600ml of water, warm

Wash the rice 2-3 times in cold water and then soak in warm water for about 10 minutes. Strain and keep aside​. Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan (with a tight-fitting lid). Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaf and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the strained rice and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the warm water and salt and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to the boil, turn down the flame and add the butter and cream. Stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon and leave to simmer with the lid on over a gentle heat for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, sprinkle the saffron over the rice and leave for a further 10 minutes. Now turn the pulao over gently from the sides using a spatula and transfer to a serving bowl.

Recipes by Great British Chefs. Visit their website for more tasty rice recipes

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