Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rice Is Nice : IHCC

"Rice Is Nice", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where we are cooking from Madhur Jaffrey's recipes. There are a few rice recipes of MJ's  that looks very good, but I wanted something simple to go with a spicy pork curry that I've planned to cook. I've bought myself a book of MJ during a book sale, with wonderful recipes that I can't wait to try, some I have already tried in my previous posts which I initially got the recipes from online. Now that I have the book and after browsing it thru, I just got to try the pork curry. And this simple rice recipe is from this book too, perfect pairing!

This rice is just plain, simple basmati rice. As usual, the rice is washed and soaked in water for 30 minutes, drained and ready for cooking. Melt some butter in a saucepan and stir in the drained rice. I have omitted the salt since I'm eating the rice with some pork curry and the salt is not necessary.  The recipe do not call for pandanus leaf, but I added in one fresh pandanus leaf from my garden, cut into 3" sections and added in together with the rice. Stir-fry both the rice and pandanus leaf in the melted butter for 2-3 minutes, it smells wonderfully fragrant at this point, scoop everything into the rice cooker pot, add some water and continue on with the cooking in the rice cooker. It smells incredibly nice while the rice is cooking, really fragrant from the pandanus leaf. 

Pandanus leaf from my garden.

Pandanus leaves are pretty common over here in Malaysia and are used frequently in rice cooking. It imparts a lovely distinct fragrance. Sometimes it is used in spicy dishes for that added aroma. It is also used in making our many varieties of local sweet desserts. The leaves can be pounded, with juice extracted for usage in making cakes and other sweet desserts, which will give a wonderful pandan taste, fragrance and lovely colour of green. 

 The main star of this meal is of course, the curry, but simple plain rice like this, which complements well with the curry, that makes a simple dinner into a delicious one! I've  made some salad to go with the rice and curry.  December is a really busy month, I'm out of the house most of the days, so I have covered my next two posts for IHCC, in one dinner meal! Recipes for the curry and salad will be for the coming posts with IHCC!


Please do stop by IHCC to view all the different rice yummies the others made!

Plain Basmati Rice
(adapted from "100 Essential Curries", Madhur Jaffrey)
Serves 6
350gm (12oz) basmati rice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 fresh pandanus leave (cut to 3" sections) (my addition)

  1. Wash the rice well in cold water. Soak it in a bowl with 1.2 litres (2 pints) of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt for 30 minutes. Then drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Pour in the drained rice (and pandanus leaf, if using) and stir for a minute. Add 500ml (18fl oz) water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil, cover, lower heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Lift lid. Mix rice gently with fork. Cover again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the rice is tender.
** the pandanus leaf are not meant to be eaten, simply remove the leaves before serving.

kitchen flavour's notes :
~ I use 2 cups basmati rice, cooked with 3-1/4 cups water
~ omit the salt.
~ added in 1 fresh pandanus leave, cut to 3" sections
~ In step 2, after adding in the rice and the pandanus leaf, stir for a couple of minutes, I transferred all the rice to the rice cooker pot, add in the 3-1/4 cups water and proceed with the cooking in the rice cooker until done.


  1. You are right. one can't get tired of rice . Loved your blog.

  2. If I didn't know any better, just looking at the pictures make me think you've cooked some Cajun rice and gravy! Basmati rice is so good--even on its own.

  3. Loved the picture of the leaf. Never heard of that particular leaf before. Guess you learn something new every day! First of all, that curry looks incredible! Secondly, I basmati rice is fantastic. It's so aromatic when cooking.

  4. Love basmati rice as well... I didn't know that I can cook it with pandan leaves. Shall try that next time.

  5. I can go without rice for many days. I just survive with only noodles and breads. But, the gravy on top of your rice makes me want to finish the whole plate of rice.

  6. A rice post, yay! This is sort of like nasi lemak rice without the coconut milk, no? Yes?

    I'm so gonna try this out :)

  7. Looks so yummy I am definitely a rice and curry girl. I have to find out how to plant pandan leaves ..indoor :(

  8. Thank you for teaching me how to cook rice hehehe! So simple, yet I always get soggy rice when I ever cooked rice! I am looking forward to your pork curry recipe!

  9. Quite a useful post for many of us.Inviting platter.

  10. Rice is just nice ?! Rice is AWESOME ! lol I'm more interested in that mouth- watering pork curry of yours ! Post the recipe next time , okay ? :D

  11. I always eat more rice when I have curry, and yours curry is looks really good, can imagine the smell now!

  12. i always prefer noodles to rice but if got curry, definately must take rice, double the amount, please!

  13. Joyce, totally agree that rice is nice! My family has now switched to Basmathi rice as we prefer low starch rice and it has better texture. We always cook more rice when curry is served. Can't wait for the pork curry recipe :)

  14. Basmati rice was hard to find here until a couple of years ago. now it is the rice I use most often. Have to try it your way - but without the pandanus leaf.

  15. Yes, definitely rice when it comes to curry! This pork curry look so tasty & mouth watering! And how nice to have your own pandan plant! My mum used to have one too but it's always botak!! LOL Always used it to make kaya! hahahaha

  16. Absolutely delicious basmati rice,classic recipe..looks divine.