Tag Archives: peas

01Nov/14

Stir fried rice, leeks & peas

Rice, leeks & peas(4)

Rice, as a staple food, never ceases to amaze me – it is so versatile and can be boiled, steamed, layered, and stir fried and almost any vegetable, lentil or bean can be added to make it a meal in one.  Add a handful of dried fruit and nuts and it is transformed into a dish fit for a king or queen of course!  Iranians do some extraordinary dishes with rice and use almost any dried fruit and nut available.  Barberry is a small gorgeous deep red berry, slightly tart, and is used frequently to add a hint of sour.  You can buy these in Iranian or Middle Eastern shops and also online at Sous Chef and are a useful addition to the larder.

This recipe is for stir fried rice, leeks & peas and I have thrown in a small handful of barberries.  If you don’t have barberries, you can substitute these with cranberries instead which are easily available – the link is for Neal’s Yard cranberries available at Holland & Barrett . The stir fried method of combining rice with vegetables etc is the simplest way of cooking rice with vegetables as you don’t need to worry about the amount of water you add to the rice as in pilau rice, where rice and vegetables are cooked in the same pot with a measured amount of water.  

Try it this weekend with some quick and easy curried spring greens or butternut squash with borlotti beans – both of which I have posted earlier today.

4 servings

Ingredients

300 grams) Basmati rice (soak for 1 hour)
500 grams leeks, (sliced thinly)
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons barberries OR cranberries (soak in cold water for 10 minutes)
1 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. In a large wok, fry the leeks in the olive oil until edges turn golden and leeks are soft
  2. Add peas and barberries or cranberries and fry gently for a further 3-4 minutes
  3. Rinse the rice a few times and boil in lots of salted water. Lower heat to medium once boiling and cook for about 3-4 minutes until rice is cooked (depends on the quality of the rice so keep an eye and check – eye balling is the best approach to cooking rice)
  4. Strain in colander and add to the leeks mixture in the wok and fry with a spatula, turning over gently for a couple of minutes to mix thoroughly
29Sep/14

Peas pilau

Peas pilau

Pilau rice means the rice is cooked in the liquid – water or stock.  Plain steamed rice is boiled in a lot of water (like pasta) and strained when the rice is al dente and then  put back on the hob on low to steam.   All sorts of vegetables can be added to pilau rice – peas, all variety of beans, carrots, potatoes, French beans, runner beans and whatever takes your fancy.  

There is no one way of cooking peas pilau – every household will have it’s own favourite tweak!  Sometimes I add fried onion which makes the pilau creamier and sweeter.  Other times when I can’t be bothered with chopping and frying an onion, I use this recipe which is simple and a good variation.  

Basmati rice comes in a variety of grades – some better than others.  That being so, it is not always easy to give precise measurements of how much liquid you will need. But don’t panic – usually a ratio of 1:1 of rice and water does the trick.  And it is always possible to adjust the water while cooking the rice – see tip below.  Less water is probably better than using too much – keep a kettle on the boil and add a little more if required.  Once you’ve cooked pilau rice a few times you will know how much water to use just eye-balling it.  

You could use brown rice if this is what you prefer although typically pilau rice is cooked using white rice – brown rice will take a little longer to cook.

4 servings

Ingredients

300 grams Basmati rice (soaked for 1 hour)
2 cups frozen peas
Whole garam masala: 4 black peppercorns, 4 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 2 small sticks cinnamon, 2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black zeera or jeera (black cumin seeds are from the same family as regular cumin seeds but smaller – available at Asian stores, see link)
½ teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons oil
600ml water (see tip below for adjustment)
Good vegetable stock cube (I use Kallo vegetable or French onion and it is by far the best)

Method

  1. Rinse rice 3-4 times
  2. Heat oil in a large pan (small pans mean squished rice), lower heat and add whole garam masala and black zeera and fry for 30 seconds
  3. Add turmeric and peas and fry for a further 2-3 minutes
  4. Add rice and 600ml water and bring to boil
  5. Crumble the stock cube into the rice, lower heat to low/medium and simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has disappeared – about 3-4 minutes. (If you need to add more water, make sure it is hot water)
  6. Cover the lid with a clean tea cloth and place tightly over the rice
  7. Lower heat to lowest and steam for about 15 minutes (use heat diffuser if you have one – I don’t know what I’d do without mine!)

Tip:  As there are various varieties of Basmati rice it is not always possible to give exact measurements of how much water you will need. However, it is easy to adjust the amount of water during cooking.  If you think you’ve added too much water, simply turn the heat on high and let it dry (only takes a minute or so);  if there is too little water and the rice still uncooked, add a little boiling water.  Rice needs to be watched and checked while it is on the boil – it should be al dente before covering and steaming 

Remember, rice freezes well and can be reheated in the oven

13Jun/14

Rice with peas & sweetcorn

Rice with peas and sweetcorn(1)

This has to be the simplest rice dish ever and for those who are worried about cooking rice, please do try this.  Most of us have some frozen peas and a tin of sweetcorn in the larder.  Simply boil the rice, strain and add to peas and sweetcorn!  You can’t go wrong and it is delicious!  Always happy to answer questions if you get stuck.

4 servings

Ingredients

300 grams Basmati rice (soak for 1 hour at least)
2 cups frozen peas
1 tin sweetcorn (198g)
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. In a large wok, heat the oil and add peas and sweetcorn
  2. Fry gently for about 3 minutes and set aside
  3. Wash the rice 3-4 times in a large deep pan and bring to boil with lots of water and salt
  4. If you have soaked the rice, it should take no longer than 3-4 minutes for the rice to cook once it comes to the boil – watch the pot
  5. Strain immediately in colander and add to the peas and sweetcorn in the wok
  6. Gently mix with a spatula on low heat and serve
  7. Try it with marrow bake