I’m going through a rice phase (hence the previous rice-based recipe, congee, I posted last week). I’m eating it for breakfast and for dinner, with Indian spices, Japanese flair, gussied up or with simple olive oil and salt. This turmeric coconut rice is sweet and savory, rich with coconut oil, cut by a side of fresh mustard greens (the first from my garden this year). Curry leaves are a special ingredient I encourage you to seek out from the Indian or South Asian grocer. You can find them fresh or frozen (I store fresh ones in the freezer if I am not going to use them all right way). When they hit the oil, their aroma releases and they crisp into papery thin wisps. Curry leaves are much greener and far less pungent than the powdered spice. Black mustard seeds take on the flavor of toasty popcorn when fried, popping and jumping out of the pan. Make sure to serve this with the lemon squeezed over top before serving.
¾ cup basmati rice
1 ½ cups broth or water
¼ cup golden raisins
1 cup chopped white onion
2 tbs coconut oil
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbs black mustard seeds
25 fresh curry leaves
1 Serrano chile, minced
¼ cup dried, unsweetened grated coconut
1 handful mustard greens, washed and lightly dressed with olive oil and salt
2 soft-boiled eggs
1. Combine rice and broth or water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Add golden raisins and cover once more, setting aside to steam.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to a medium sauté pan with ½ teaspoon salt and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat, until the onions start to sweat. Add turmeric and stir to evenly distribute.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan. Raise the heat slightly, wait a few seconds, add the mustard seeds, stir and cover. The seeds should start to pop. When the popping slows, add the curry leaves and Serrano chile, stirring to coat with the oil. If the mustard seeds are still popping, partially cover the pan with the lid as you stir. As soon as the leaves start to brown, add the dried coconut and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Using a fork, fluff the rice and add it to the pan with the onions. Season with remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and gently fold the ingredients together until the rice takes on an even yellow color of the turmeric. Serve with mustard greens and eggs on the side, or with simple grilled fish.