Rick Stein’s Everyday Pilau Rice

Serves: 4

I did a cooking class 15 years ago with David Thompson, inarguably the world’s best Thai chef (and ironically, an Australian).

He covered a lot of ground on the day including 15 seconds on rice where he said the only technique anyone needed was the trick where you measured the water above the rice – however much rice, whatever the cooking dish – to be the distance between the top of your thumb and the first joint.

If you did this, this was all you needed to know.

I’ve lived by this rule since and I’ve cooked plenty of successful rice since.

Though jeez I love it when I find a different technique. A technique that works too!

Thanks Rick Stein. Loved it!

Ingredients

315gm basmati rice
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cloves
3cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 green cardamom pod, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
350ml water

Method

  1. Wash the rice and then soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the spices for 30 seconds until they smell aromatic.
  3. Drain the rice and add it with the salt; stir a little.
  4. Add the water and bring to the boil, then cook on a very low heat with the lid on for 10 – 12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.

Rick Stein’s Pickled Onion and Pineapple Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really simple, colourful, Rick Stein Indian salad that perfectly cuts through fatty Indian dishes such as pork curries.

Ingredients

1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sugar
300gm pineapple, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
A few fresh coriander leaves

Method

  1. Toss the onions together with the vinegar, sugar and salt and leave to marinate for an hour.
  2. Strain off any excess liquid, then toss the onions with the pineapple chunks, scatter with coriander and serve.

Rick Stein’s “Amma’s” Pork Curry with Green Chillies and Tamarind

Serves: 6

It’s getting cold at night.

Which means we light a huge outdoor fire. Decant a cracker red:

And dial up the curries, braises and stews.

Last night we cooked this wonderful Rick Stein curry. Pork shoulder cooked down for a few hours, a salad of pineapple and red onion to cut through the richness and a pilau rice at the side.

Perfect.

Honestly, sitting by the fire with Nat on an autumn Saturday night with a bowl of this and a glass of red, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Ingredients

For the curry

6 large banana shallots (eschallots) sliced
20 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
6cm ginger, finely chopped
6 green chillies, roughly chopped with the seeds
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
4cm piece of cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1kg boneless pork shoulder cut into 4cm chunks
1 tsp salt

To finish

2 tsp coriander seeds
75ml tamarind liquid
3 green chillies, thinly sliced lengthways, without seeds
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Flash pickled onion and pineapple salad to serve
Pilau rice to serve

Method

  1. Put the eschallots, garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor with a splash of water and blend to a rough paste.
  2. Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, cloves, cinnamon stick and peppercorns in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a minute until toasted and aromatic. Add the turmeric and fry for another 20 seconds. Cool, then grind to a coarse powder.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pork, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned. With all the pork in the pan, add the eschallot, garlic, ginger and chilli paste, the ground spices and salt, and fry for a further 5 minutes, adding a splash of water if the paste starts to stick.
  4. Pour over enough water to just cover, turn the heat down to low and put on a lid and simmer for 2 hours until the meat is tender. Remove the lid, turn up the heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens to a gravy.
  5. To finish, fry the coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a minute until toasted, then grind to a powder. Add the tamarind liquid, green chillies and garlic to the pork and cook for a further minute, then stir in the ground coriander.
  6. Serve with pilau rice and salad at the side.

Rick Stein’s British Beef Raj Curry

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really great, Colonial-style curry.

The sultanas and coconut speak to the simplicity and innocence of the British influence – and love – of Indian curry. Something that is so wrong that it is right.

This was one of our many Sunday night curries and it’s spicy, sweet, moorish and just so good.

It has to be done with white rice and a glass of vino – we had a Pinot – and done right, it is the best way to end the week and start the next.

Rick Stein remains one of our favourite curry heros and this is why.

Ingredients

25gm butter
750gm chuck steak, cut into 4cm pieces
2 medium onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 ½ tbsp garam masala
1 ⅔ tsp salt
600ml beef stock
50gm desiccated coconut
100gm sultanas

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large, sturdy pan over a medium heat. Add the steak, in batches, and fry for a few minutes until browned and then remove to a plate. Add the onions to the same pan and fry for 10 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for one minute, then return the meat to the pan, along with any juices on the plate. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric, one tablespoon of the garam masala, and the salt, and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the stock, followed by the coconut and sultanas. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes to an hour or until the beef is tender. Stir in the remaining garam masala and serve.

Prawn Molee

 

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a beautiful curry.

Beautifully delicate and mild, so much so, you could be eating a contemporary French starter.

The lightness of it of course allows the prawns to sing rather than smothering them as merely a protein as so many curries do.

It is a Rick Stein number and the recipe from Kerala.

With some boiled basmati rice – and coriander – this will make your night.

Wow.

Ingredients

2 tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp ground black pepper
3 cardamom pods, lightly bruised with a rolling pin
6 cloves
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
5cm ginger, finely shredded
2 green chillis, slit lengthways, deseeded
1 tsp salt
Small handful fresh curry leaves
Small pinch turmeric
400ml coconut milk
1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar
500gm large tail-on raw prawns
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced for garnish
Boiled basmati rice to serve
Coriander leaves to serve (us, not Rick)

Method

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pepper, cardamoms and cloves and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes until translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chillies, salt and curry leaves and fry for 1 minute.
  2. Add the turmeric, coconut milk and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes until reduced slightly. Add the prawns and simmer for a further 4 minutes until the prawns are cooked through. Scatter the tomatoes on top, turn off the heat, cover the pan and set aside for 4 minutes.

Rick Stein’s White Lamb Curry

Serves: 6 – 8

Otherwise known as Safed Maas – ‘safed’ meaning white in most North Indian languages – this curry is literally the opposite of rogan josh.

Aromatic, mild and off-white. Fragrant and luxurious.

Historically, this recipe is a royal dish from the region of Rajasthan, a region famous for its upper-class cooking.

So background aside, why would you consider this.

It’s hard to know where to start!

It is a brand new curry! After a billion rogan joshes and so forth, this is like finding out you have a tail!

It tastes extraordinary. With some rice and chapitas, it is so moorish and – second time I have used this word – luxurious, you will pause to take it all in. Heaven.

And it is from Rick Stein, a man who gets it right almost every time.

If you like curry and you like Indian, I present to you your new tail.

Start wagging. It looks great!

Ingredients

For the spice blend

2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp green cardamom pods, seeds only
1 black cardamom pod, seeds only
1 tsp cloves
4cm cinnamon stick
1 Indian bay leaf

For the lamb

100gm cashew nuts
1 tbsp boiling water
1gk boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 4cm cubes
4cm fresh ginger, finely grated
5 cloves garlic, finely crushed
100gm Greek-style yogurt
150gm ghee (or oil)
1 small onion, sliced
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom (seeds from 30 green pods)
40ml double cream

To serve

Pilau rice
Chapatis


Method

  1. Fry the spices in a frying pan over a medium-heat for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted and aromatic and then blend to a powder using a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  2. For the lamb, tip the cashew nuts and water into a mini food processor and blend to a paste. Set aside. Put the lamb in a large bowl and mix well with the spice blend, ginger, garlic and yogurt. Set aside and marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the ghee in a large pan over a low-medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the meat and its marinade and pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Add the salt, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender and the sauce is thickened.
  4. Stir in the cashew nut paste, ground cardamom and a splash of water if needed to give the sauce the consistency of double cream. Heat through and the stir in the cream and serve.
  5. Close your eyes.

Mr Singh’s slow-cooked Lamb Curry with Cloves and Cardamom

Serves: 4 – 6

From India by Rick Stein really is a beautiful cookbook. It feels as bright and colourful as Rick himself and the stories behind each recipe are inspiring and wonderful to read.

You really appreciate the origin of what you are about to cook and it really does take appreciation of the dish to the next level.

And appreciate you will this excellent curry from Rick – or Mr Singh – a talented and well-kept cook he met in India.

The pureeing of the base ingredients changes the texture and makes the whole thing simply feel as one. There is a nice lingering heat and of course after all that time cooking, the lamb is starting to fall apart.

As far as solid, homemade winter curries go, you could do a whole lot worse than this one.

Win.

(I have changed the ordering and wording of the method versus Rick’s recipe. With an hour and a half of cooking time up your sleeve before you need the powdered spices, you would be mad – or with plenty of time on your hands – to do the recipe in reverse as per its original writing.)

Ingredients

½ tsp cardamom seeds (for about 8 green pods)
4 – 6 cloves
3 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves roughly chopped
4 cm ginger, roughly chopped
75ml vegetable oil (or ghee)
100ml Greek-style yogurt
1kg lamb shoulder (or leg), deboned, trimmed of excess fat, 3cm pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tbsp cream

Method

  1. In stages, using a mini food processor and rinsing out in-between, blend the onions to a puree with a little water; puree the tomatoes; blend the garlic and ginger with a tablespoon of water to a slack paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion paste for 15 minutes until golden; add the ginger and garlic and fry for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the yogurt, meat and salt and cover over a low-medium heat stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until browned.
  3. Stir in the garam masala and chilli powder and then pour in just enough water to cover the meat. Simmer, covered for 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, grind the cardamom seeds and cloves to a fine powder. (This, in my experience, needs a glass of wine.)
  5. Stir in the cream and pureed tomatoes followed by the cardamom and clove mix. Seal the pan by first covering in foil and then the lid. Cook over the lowest heat for 40 minutes until the lamb is tender.
  6. Remove the seal and quickly cook off any remaining liquid until you have a good gravy.
  7. Enjoy with rice and more wine!