Basic guide to rice – most popular types of rice

Basic guide to rice – most popular types of riceRice – we all know it, we all eat it and we all love it but I bet we don’t really know all that much about it.

Normally I wouldn’t be so bothered with a deeper knowledge on the subject of rice but some time ago we discovered a very funky little shop in the village next door, which among other produce sells 100+ types of rice… I wanted to try some of them but as I really didn’t know a lot about rice, it was time for me to do some research.

Apparently there are more than 40,000 different varieties of rice, shocking isn’t it?

Rice can be categorised by size, colour and its aromatic properties.

So we have:

Long-Grain Rice
This is most likely the most popular rice in our everyday cooking. The grains of long-grain rice remain intact after cooking, which make it perfect for most dishes including various salads.

Medium-Grain Rice
This types of rice become a little bit sticky. They are used for paellas, risottos or sushi as well as different sweet dishes.

Short-Grain Rice
Main use for this type of rice would be the famous rice pudding or a risotto as short-grain rice can be very sticky.

The other way in which we can catalogue rice is its colour:

White Rice
This types of rice has had its husk, bran and germ removed. After milling the rice is polished to give the seeds a bright, white and super shiny appearance. This rice usually cooks quickly but it lack important nutrients as they were removed during the milling process.

Brown Rice
This is so called whole grain rice. Brown rice has its bran and germ intact, which means that it provides more nutrients than white rice varieties. Brown rice has to be soaked before cooking so it is not an ideal ingredient for quick meals.

Red Rice
This is a special variety of rice, which is very similar to a brown rice, it still has its husk and germ intact but instead being brown it is red in colour.

Black or purple rice
This is the most nutritional rice out there but it is also the most expensive. It is a great source of vitamin E, iron and antioxidants. Cooked black rice turns deep purple hence the confusing name of being called both black and / or purple rice.

This is where my research took me so far. I know that this is just a beginning, the tip of the iceberg but it will give me a better understanding next time I walk into my rice shop 😉

If you love rice you might want to check out the LoveRice website, which is entirely dedicated to… surprise, surprise…. rice and rice only. Packed with wonderful rice recipes, extensive FAQs and general cooking instructions it is really a great place for any rice lover. And to make things even better there is an option of submitting your own rice recipe…

Do you love rice?

What is your “usual” use for it?

Have you ever been adventurous enough to try an exotic variety of rice?

Taking rice to the next level | How to cook the perfect rice

Taking rice to the next level – How to cook the perfect rice

Recently we have rekindled an old love, that being our love of rice. It is a wonderful versatile food substance that you can do so much with. And yet as a nation we tend to stick the usual suspects, boiled, fried or if it’s a special occasion then maybe a pilau.

Well we have been playing with rice lately and have decided that we should eat it far more often than we tend to do. The reason for this change of heart, simple really, we started to look at rice from a different perspective.

I cooked a curry one night, lovely chicken madras, except there was a problem. My parents had recently brought round some home grown chillies, they looked like a standard chillies, plump and green or red. They sure didn’t look like the distant cousin of the ghost chilli that they turned out to be. Sat there with a bubbling pot of molten lava I started to look for ways to tame the beast. I exhausted my usual trick of adding cream and yoghurt, on the plus side it did make the curry taste even more wonderful but alas did little to reduce the heat. As a last resort I decided to add pineapple and apple chunks to the rice so that my diners would get some relief from the chillies as they ate the cooling fruits. To a greater extent it did work, yes we were all sat there with tissues for runny noses and eyes, and yes the conversation was dominated with talk of chillies and their power but we all survived and all plates where mostly empty. What I did take away from the occasion was a keen desire to try other combinations with my rice recipe.

Many people have a problem with the cooking of rice complaining that it usually ends up soggy or undercooked and that it was hard to hit the sweet spot for perfect cooked rice. Well rest assured readers that this is a problem for you no more. With my fool proof recipe below you will be turning out wonderfully flavourful fluffy rice.

So here is an example of a wonderfully diverse rice dish that with go with a wide range of meals. I think that if you view rice the same way you would a slice of bread, or a pizza base or even a bowl of pasta (i.e. a blank canvas) then suddenly your imagination is flooded with possibilities. Add what you have in the cupboards, what is almost past its sell by date or just what you have specifically bought to try, the point is whatever you try it’s amazing what comes out at the end.

How to cook the perfect rice

Ingredients:

  • 250g rice (basmati rice is a good choice)
  • 25g butter; unsalted
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic diced or crushed

Make a spice mix with the following:

  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp of coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Half a dozen of green cardamoms

You will also need:

  • 500ml water
  • 1tsp of turmeric

Our additions to the above included:

  • A can of pineapple chunks
  • Handful of sultanas
  • Handful of whole almonds
  • A couple of apples

Method:

Wash the rice in running cold water, tradition says that you should wash it seven times till the water runs clear, and then leave in a final bowl of clean water for at least an hour to soak.

In a clean dry frying pan over a gentle heat cook the spice mix for 2 minutes to help waken the spices up. When done add to a pestle and mortar or spice grinder and turn to a powder.

In a heavy based saucepan that will have a tight fitting heavy lid add some butter and oil to heat up. When hot add the onions and cook till soft, then add your garlic and turn the heat to medium low and cook till golden in colour, about 20 minutes.

Drain your rice so it’s quite dry.

Add the spice mix and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the rice and turmeric and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly then finally add your water and salt. Put on the lid and leave to come to the boil. Once it is boiling gently start timing 15 minutes.

NO MATTER WHAT EVEN IF THE KITCHEN COLLAPSES AROUND YOU DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF THE SAUCEPAN, NOT EVEN FOR A PEEK, NOT JUST ONCE, NOT EVER… EVER!

After fifteen minutes remove the pan from the heat and set aside, and just in case you’re curious about having a peek please refer to the above shouty sentence. Let the rice stand for a further 15-20 minutes to rest and finish cooking.

Melt some butter in a frying pan and cook the almonds and sultanas for 5 minutes whilst you wait.
You can also core and dice you apples and drain the pineapple.

Finally when the rice is done, decant it into a large serving bowl and add all the other pieces and give it a good stir, and serve.

Taking rice to the next level - How to cook the perfect riceTaking rice to the next level & How to cook the perfect rice

Do you like rice?

What’s your favourite way of serving it?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Weekly Photo Challenge Threes

Challenge set by The Daily Post

***

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | YSalma
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | tagnoue
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | From My Horizon
  4. Weekly Photo Challenge: Three image story (Gouda City Hall) | What’s (in) the picture?
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | Something to Ponder About
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | Sonel’s Corner
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge : Threes / Tiga | bambangpriantono
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | Untold Contemplation
  10. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | Edge of the Forest
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes | The Panama Adventure

What’s Cooking – Peri Peri Meat and Rice Stuffed Peppers

My Peri Peri Meat and Rice Stuffed Peppers
My Peri Peri Meat and Rice Stuffed Peppers

So the other day there I was hungry and as usual with no idea what to have for dinner when a distraction occurs, my dad calls… he is all glowing (I could almost feel it over the telephone lines) but what synchronicity as he starts telling me about some fantastic stuffed peppers he just made for his dinner. To make things worse he said “Just to prove how awesome they are I am sending you pictures”… I thought to myself “Great… just what I really need at this moment – some pictures of a  yummy dinner”. He was right though his dinner did indeed look totally fantastic and what was even more impressive – they grew the peppers in their garden!

I really did envy my parents at that moment – a nice, healthy meal, which is already cooked and ready for consumption… This gave me the idea for the next day’s dinner. I really wanted to recreate my own stuffed peppers which would look at least as good as my dad’s, and with some luck even better so I could photo him back all smug.

So off shopping I went…

2. IngredientsIngredients acquired:

  • 500g of minced pork
  • 6 large nicely shaped, equal sized “fat” peppers
  • 3 onions
  • A handful of mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • 150g rice
  • Stock pot
  • Oil for cooking
  • Cheese – optional for the cheese lovers
  • Herb and spices to taste:

Salt and Pepper
Paprika
Mixed herbs
Peri peri seasoning

Method:

3. Making peppers bowlsObviously the starting point is your peppers – Give them a wash to make sure that they are clean and then cut the top off thus making a lid, remove all the seeds and pith creating a pepper bowl and replace the lids to stop them drying out.

4. RiceBoil the rice according to the packets cooking instructions but halve the cooking time – you don’t want your rice fully cooked as it will be cooked again later and you run the risk of it going very mushy later on.

5. StockPrepare 2 cups of stock (each about 150ml) – one will go inside the final stuffing mix and the second one will go at the bottom of your cooking dish, so peppers can get extra moisture while cooking.

6. Onions and MashroomsPrepare the onions and mushrooms – cut them into small pieces and fry a bit until lightly golden.

7. Herbs and spicesMix all your herb and spices in one bowl and give them a good stir.

8. Mixing upNow it is time to combine everything together; mix your mince meat with the rice, herbs and spices and egg; add one cup of stock (I used herb stock) and finally add your fried onions and mushrooms. Mix everything well but gently so it stays light, too much pounding and you will end up with a dense heavy filling that will not be pleasant, until all ingredients are well combined.

9. Stuffing timeNext step stuffing your pepper bowls – fill your peppers with the mixture and place in your final cooking dish. Ideally you want a dish that the peppers fit snugly in so they can support their neighbours and prevent themselves from falling over whilst cooking in the oven.

10. Lids back onOnce all peppers are in place put their lids on and add the 2nd cup of stock to the bottom of your dish.

11. Oven timeCover and cook in the over for about 1.5h at 180C.

12. cheese timeAfter this time if you are a cheese lover you can remove the peppers from the oven, take their hats off and sprinkle some cheese over them. Pop them back into the oven – uncovered – for a further 10 minutes.

Now it is time to dish up!

I served our peppers with a tomato sauce (ok, almost tomato sauce, it was a tinned tomato soup from Heinz with added spices for a more “posh” flavour).

So there you have it a nice easy recipe for a colourful and funky dinner.

Enjoy! We did…..

.

I’ve received a selection of herbs and spices from QSpice so I can use them in my cooking. 

***