For special occasions my Mum used to make different flavoured rice dishes for the family. I thought I would share some of them with you. This is one of my popular dinner party dishes – my Mum only ever used fresh ingredients, so I haven’t used any frozen ingredients or artificial flavours or colours.
500g Basmati rise (washed twice and soaked in a cold water for about 15 minutes)
Pinch of saffron stems
50g pine nuts (roasted in a pan until golden)
100g carrots (peeled and cut into matchsticks)
100 white cabbage (washed and shredded)
5 tbs chopped parsley
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 large red onion (chopped)
150g fresh prawns (shelled, cleaned and roughly chopped)
200g fresh boneless and skinless cod (diced)
3 tbs vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Mix the seafood with the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper and keep on one side. Put the rice into the pan with water (follow the instructions on your particular brand of rice), a pinch of salt and half a lemon. When the water comes to a boil, lower the flame, add the saffron then cover and simmer until the rice is cooked and fluffy (adding more hot water if required). Remove from the heat, take out the lemon and squeeze the juice into the rice. Gently stir with a folk or the handle of a wooden spoon.
Heat a pan with a little oil, then add carrot and cook for a few seconds before adding to the rice mixture. Do the same with the cabbage. In the same pan add the remaining oil, sauté the garlic and onion then add the seafood mixture. When the prawns become light orange, remove from the heat and add into the rice mixture. Sprinkle the pine and parsley over the rice and stir gently to mix. Finally, check the seasoning. Serve nice and hot.
© Ajith Perera. All rights reserved.