15 September 2009
I have a pretty weird preference when it comes to rice, I don’t quite fancy plain white rice even with other dishes (vegetables, meat, fish etc) but I love savoury ones especially Nasi Briyani. I love the wonderful aroma of the spices, the fragrant taste of the ghee and onions; each rice grain is bursting with flavours. And it’s such a perfect one pot dish
I first fell in love with Nasi Briyani when I was staying in a kampong many years ago, when I attended a Malay wedding feast or commonly known as kenduri with my mother. During events like these, the host would usually serve Nasi Briyani / Nasi Minyak with dishes like Ayam Masak Merah, Acar, Sambal Udang, Rendang Ayam etc. It was a real treat back then, to have to many things to eat and to have so many friends to play with and another thing to look forward during kenduri was the bottomless glass of Sirap (a type of drink made from water, screwpine leaves, sugar and red coloring)
Even then I was fascinated by the sights of pots of delectable dishes, men cooking and serving the dishes, the colourful decorations, and a group of teenagers beating the kompangs (hand drums), the beautifully decorated platforms for the happily married groom & bride to be seated on their throne like chairs to receive well wishes from guests or guests reciting poems for the newly weds.
Now whenever I have Nasi Briyani, it brings back fond memories of my childhood growing up in the kampong. The simplicity of life, the beautiful nature, and wonderful meals during kenduris
200gm/1 cup of Basmati rice
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
3 tablespoon of ghee or 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of butter
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of poppy seeds or mustard seeds if you can't get hold of poppy seeds (thanks to Christine for sharing this with me (: )
130 g of green peas (canned/frozen)
1 small onion (chopped)
50ml of condensed milk
400ml/2 cups of water
salt to season
Serves: 2-3 persons
1. Rinse the rice in several changes of water, until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a bowl, cover with plenty of water and mix in the turmeric powder. Leave to soak for about an hour and drain thoroughly.
2. Heat the ghee or oil and butter, in a pot. Stir in the poppy seeds, star anise and cloves. Add in the onion and fry until golden and fragrant
3. Add in the rice, followed by cinnamon stick and bay leaf and stir for 1 minute to coat the grains in ghee.
4. Pour in the water with the salt and condensed milk, stir once and bring the liquid to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat, stir in the peas and allow to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir the rice occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
6. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the fried shallot on top. Replace the lid and leave to steam for a further 10 minutes. Spoon the rice on to a serving dish
You may also stir in a handful of sultanas/raisins along with the peas.