Rice is a staple among many communities all over the world and there is nothing as inviting as a beautiful bowl of rice. The beauty about this grain is that you can play around with it and throw in many different things to make a totally new food with crazy flavour. One ingredient that has the power to transform a simple meal into a luxurious affair is coconut.
Coconut has received bad press about its fat content but good press in the recent past is slowly covering that up. Anyone who has had a meal laced with coconut will tell you that it is like a small piece of heaven on earth. Its mild nutty flavour coupled with the rich creamy taste turns everything into a beautiful experience.
The coconut contains various minerals such as copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, selenium, phosphorus and zinc. Thiamine, folate, niacin, riboflavin and pyridoxine are also present. Coconut water has been found to have compounds that are anti-ageing, anti-thrombotic and anti-carcinogenic. It also contains electrolytes and together they aid in metabolism and digestion.
The component that stands out most is its lauric acid content. This acid increases the amount of good cholesterol in the blood. Good cholesterol (HDL) prevents atherosclerosis (blockage of blood vessels). It also contains fats and proteins. Every single part of the coconut can be used for something starting from the water, kernel, coconut milk, coconut oil and even the hard woody shell.
Now, put together these two foods and you get a meal that is filling, delicious and healthy. You can never go wrong with coconut rice and the simplicity of the recipe makes it difficult to believe that it is possible to achieve such flavours with minimal effort.
Coconut fried rice recipe
- 500g long grain white rice
- 200ml coconut milk
- 300ml chicken stock or water
- 100g fried liver/shrimps/beef (optional)
- A handful green peas
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp crushed ginger
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- Prepare all the vegetables. Peel and dice the carrots. Chop the onions. Remove the seeds from the bell peppers and dice them.
- Blanch the peas and carrots for about 3 minutes. If you like your carrots crunchy you can skip this step.
- Place the chicken stock and coconut milk in a large pot and bring it to boil. Add the curry powder, garlic, half of the onion and salt. Pour in the rice, mix properly and let it cook on medium heat. (The liquid should be at the same level as the rice so that the rice is done as soon as the liquid dries up. Increase seasoning if you are using water instead of stock.)
- When the liquid reduces and is bubbling place the shrimp, beef or liver on top and let them cook until the rice is done. Mix everything and let the rice cool.
- Because this is coconut fried rice, you will need to fry it. Heat some oil in a large pan and throw in the carrots, peas, bell peppers, ginger, garlic, onions, curry powder, black pepper and salt to taste. Stir fry for about a minute and pour them out into a bowl.
- Divide the stir-fried vegetables into portions. Place a portion into the pan, throw in a portion of coconut rice and stir fry for about three minutes. Repeat the process until all the vegetables and rice are used up.
- Serve it with chicken, a salad, fresh juice or even on its own!