Recipe Source: Jollands, Beverly. 500 Hot & Spicy Recipes. Anness Publishing, London, 2008 p. 205
I made this recipe for a blogging event. It's not like I've never entered a blogging event before, but this one was different. Usually I see a blogging event that looks interesting, I note the event, and if I get inspired in a way that complies with event rules, I enter. This time, I made a special point of looking for something appropriate and made it. The event is a monthly event called Food in Colors, and the color in question changes every month. Last month the color was white. While I've made white food, I've never really sought out white food before. If you had played the word-association game with me and said, "white food," I would have said, "bland," or "boring," or "somewhat suspicious." Reading through the round ups - and there were enough entries that there were four different days of round-up - really opened my eyes and reminded me that just because a food lacks color doesn't mean it lacks flavor.
Anyway, this month the event is hosted by SunshineMom at Tongue Ticklers and the color is yellow. To see the rules for the event (and other great recipes) click here. I thought about the foods I knew that were yellow. Off the top of my head, they consisted of saffron ice cream. I've made saffron ice cream before. I entered it into a blogging event. Re-posts were specifically forbidden, and wouldn't have been much fun anyway. But this dish, which I found in a cookbook I picked up on a whim, looked like it would fit the bill. It was yellow - vibrantly so. It was reasonably light, especially if lightt coconut milk was used. And it used turmeric, which is a lot cheaper than saffron and is reputed to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. After the weekend I had, I will take any anti-inflammatory properties I can get.
Anyway, I didn't make a lot of changes to the recipe. I used hot pepper sesame oil instead of the options of plain sesame oil or vegetable oil. While the book claimed that it was the home of hot and spicy recipes, this didn't seem particularly hot or spicy, so I decided to add a little something. I increased the quantity of garlic. I reduced the amount of salt to a pinch and I used light coconut milk. Finally, I had to omit the red chile garnish, because I had no red chilies. The result was a frankly delightfully light, fluffy rice. It matched well with the main course I served that night. The turmeric flavor really came through well, and if I hadn't put the coconut milk in there myself I would never have realized it was there. It still wasn't very spicy, although there was a little something on the finish that was pleasantly perky.
Malay Yellow Rice (serves 4 generously; approx. 1.28/serving)
2 tablespoons hot pepper sesame oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
4 tablespoons minced jarred garlic
2 cups basmati rice, washed and drained
1 14-oz can light coconut milk
2 cups water
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
4 curry leaves
Ground black pepper to taste
- Saucepan with lid
- Heat the oil in the saucepan.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook until they begin to color.
- Add the rice and stir until the rice is well coated with the pan mixture.
- Add the coconut milk, water, turmeric, curry leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let stand, still covered, another 10 minutes.
- Fluff with fork and serve.