I have been cooking and baking a lot of dishes and foods since I really started enjoying and exploring cooking healthily. However, it still amazes me and makes me jump up and down with joy in the kitchen every time I realize that you can cook something delicious and healthy in no time. For some reason I still have this concept in my head that good food needs a long time to be prepared.
I love rice, it is such a good base for sweet or savory dishes. This curried coconut rice with peppers, dried fruit and almonds combines all flavors: mild coconut, hot curry, sweet dried fruit, spicy cumin, fresh orange and lemon peel.... A true adventure for your palates. And still, a light meal, perfect for lunch or as a side dish besides grilled meats.
The rice takes some time to cook. But you can do this in advance or even use leftovers from another meal, even though it might not be cooked with coconut milk. In that case, add more coconut flakes at the end or add some coconut milk when frying the rice with the veggies, dried fruit and almonds. Bon appetit!
CURRIED COCONUT RICE WITH PEPPERS, DRIED FRUIT AND ALMONDS
1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins, currants or cherries)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder (or more if you like it hot)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
salt and pepper
Place brown rice, water and coconut milk in a pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Depending on the brown rice you are using, this will take 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside.
In the meantime, combine chopped apricots and cranberries in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the fruit and let stand for 15 minutes or until fruit is plump. Drain ans set aside.
Toast the slivered almonds in a dry pan over low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until slightly browned. Set aside.
I a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and cook the onions and bell peppers. Keep stirring. When onions are softened (after about 5 minutes), reduce to medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, spices, orange and lime peel and cook for 1 minute or until spices are fragrant. Stir in the cooked rice, dried fruit, almonds and coconut flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.