African Style Rice

I know what you must be thinking (maybe), ‘why is Dax posting about an African style rice recipe when it is so close to Cinco de Mayo! Shouldn’t he be posting about some Mexican recipe instead!?’.  I thought the same thing, for only a second, but this recipe is too good not to post. Of course I will be knocking out some sort of Mexican torta in a couple of days, but in the meantime, the focus is on an African style rice dish that is loaded with awesome spices.

This recipe was inspired by a couple of different thoughts. One being the chicken suqaar sandwich and some flavors of Indian food that I recently had. When the two came together, it was a match made in heaven. This is a recipe that is a one pot meal, and one that you could eat throughout the day, or week. It makes plenty and has you questioning the spice blend.

African Style Rice Recipe
African Style Rice Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of basmati rice, soaked in water
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 6 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced (or substitute boneless/skinless thighs)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

Start by adding the rice to a bowl, and cover with cold water. Set this to the side as you prepare the rest of your dish.

Heat a large skillet (enough to hold all of the chicken, vegetables, and rice), on medium heat and add in the canola oil. Let the oil heat up for a minute or so, then add in the diced onions. Cook these for about 7 minutes, or until they just begin to caramelize.

Now add in the garlic, ginger, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, star anise, cumin, black pepper, and turmeric powder. Give these a good stir, and cook for about a minute so they release their oils. Give this a good smell. Don’t you love it?

Toss in the tomatoes and chicken, and give a good stir.

African Style Rice Recipe
African Style Rice Recipe

Strain the rice, then add the rice to the mixture. Give this another good stir, then add in the chicken stock. Stir again, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice and chicken has fully cooked.

Remove the lid, stir, and give it a taste. If the rice is cooked, great, if not, cook a bit longer. Season with any additional salt.

I served mine as a main course, alongside some Indian mixed pickles to bring a nice accent to the dish.

This African style rice was pretty darn awesome, and pretty to boot due to the turmeric. Hope you enjoy.

African Style Rice
Author: 
Cuisine: African
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of basmati rice, soaked in water
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 6 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ tbsp turmeric powder
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced (or substitute boneless/skinless thighs)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the rice to a bowl, and cover with cold water. Set this to the side as you prepare the rest of your dish.
  2. Heat a large skillet (enough to hold all of the chicken, vegetables, and rice), on medium heat and add in the canola oil. Let the oil heat up for a minute or so, then add in the diced onions. Cook these for about 7 minutes, or until they just begin to caramelize.
  3. Now add in the garlic, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, star anise, cumin, black pepper, and turmeric powder. Give these a good stir, and cook for about a minute so they release their oils. Give this a good smell. Don’t you love it?
  4. Toss in the tomatoes and chicken, and give a good stir.
  5. Strain the rice, then add the rice to the mixture. Give this another good stir, then add in the chicken stock. Stir again, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice and chicken has fully cooked.
  6. Remove the lid, stir, and give it a taste. If the rice is cooked, great, if not, cook a bit longer. Season with any additional salt.
  7. I served mine as a main course, alongside some Indian mixed pickles to bring a nice accent to the dish.

 

Taco Fried Rice

Do you dream of tacos? I know I do, and when you have a really great taco, it’s hard not to dream of them. One of my favorites in this city, and I know everyone has their own, is at El Rey Supermercado. I love their tacos al pastor, or carne asado, loaded up on corn tortillas drizzled with their salsa verde. This recipe inspired me, not only due to my love of tacos, but of fried rice as well. I wanted to create a fried rice that was inspired by taco ingredients, and this one hit the mark.

Taco Fried Rice Recipe
Taco Fried Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck, cooked and drained of any fat
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers, roasted, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole poblano pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole small onion, diced
  • 12 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic chili salt
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups of cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably 1 day old
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • Crushed up tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • canned black sliced olives, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional

Make the rice ahead of time, and make sure it is cold. Preferably leftover rice, as I think it works better for fried rice.

Make your meat mixture. To a large skillet, cook your ground chuck, then place a lid over it and drain off any excess fat. Place back on the burner on medium heat, then toss in the onion, peppers, black beans, and seasonings. Give this a good stir, cooking the seasonings, then reduce the heat to low. Add in the water, cover, and keep on very low heat to make the ground chuck and beans nice and tender.  Cook until the water has evaporated, then remove from the heat. Place the meat mixture into a bowl, and then wipe out the skillet.

Taco Fried Rice Ingredients
Taco Fried Rice Ingredients

Now onto the fried rice. Return the large skillet back to the stove, and heat to a medium heat.

Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble, swirling it along the way.

Add in the cold rice, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once it starts to warm up, start flattening it down, building a nice light golden crust on the rice. Once that crust begins to form, add in the beaten egg, stir, and then add in the meat mixture, and stir, flattening it along the way, getting a nice crust in the process. Cook for about 7 minutes or so, then get ready to serve.

Add the taco fried rice to a bowl. Crush some taco chips on the top for more texture, then top with shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, fresh cilantro, and dashes of your favorite hot sauce, or salsa. If you want add a small dollop of sour cream, or heck, any of your other favorite taco toppings.

Taco Fried Rice Recipe
Taco Fried Rice Recipe

After serving this, my wife and daughter really fell in love with it. It’s everything you may expect in a classic taco, but mashed into everything you love about a fried rice. Even my oldest, who may sometimes be my pickiest of eaters, stuffed this mixture into a warm tortilla and made a burrito out of it! What’s not to love about that! Hope you enjoy!

Taco Fried Rice
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb ground chuck, cooked and drained of any fat
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers, roasted, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole poblano pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole small onion, diced
  • 12 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tbsp garlic chili salt
  • salt, to taste
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cups of cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably 1 day old
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • Crushed up tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • canned black sliced olives, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional
Instructions
  1. Make the rice ahead of time, and make sure it is cold. Preferably leftover rice, as I think it works better for fried rice.
  2. Make your meat mixture. To a large skillet, cook your ground chuck, then place a lid over it and drain off any excess fat. Place back on the burner on medium heat, then toss in the onion, peppers, black beans, and seasonings. Give this a good stir, cooking the seasonings, then reduce the heat to low. Add in the water, cover, and keep on very low heat to make the ground chuck and beans nice and tender. Cook until the water has evaporated, then remove from the heat. Place the meat mixture into a bowl, and then wipe out the skillet.
  3. Now onto the fried rice. Return the large skillet back to the stove, and heat to a medium heat.
  4. Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble, swirling it along the way.
  5. Add in the cold rice, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once it starts to warm up, start flattening it down, building a nice light golden crust on the rice. Once that crust begins to form, add in the beaten egg, stir, and then add in the meat mixture, and stir, flattening it along the way, getting a nice crust in the process. Cook for about 7 minutes or so, then get ready to serve.
  6. Add the taco fried rice to a bowl. Crush some taco chips on the top for more texture, then top with shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, fresh cilantro, and dashes of your favorite hot sauce, or salsa. If you want add a small dollop of sour cream, or heck, any of your other favorite taco toppings.

 

Thai Larb Fried Rice

Have you ever made, or tried Thai larb? Some refer to it as laap, lap, lahb, but I’ve always know it as larb. Regardless, it could possibly be one of my favorite Thai dishes, and it’s one I make quite a bit, probably because of the fresh herbs, and the overall flavor profile. It’s everything you expect in a great Thai dish. It’s sweet, sour, and spicy, and it’s a dish that my kids really love, maybe because they get to eat with their hands, wiping up the larb with sticky rice. I’ve done a bunch of different things with larb such as larb quesadillas, shrimp larb, and even larb bao, only to name a few, but this time I wanted to actually combine the rice and the larb together to make this awesome Thai larb fried rice.

Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe
Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe

Whether you go straight for the larb recipe, or fry in your rice, I guarantee you will love this recipe. Let’s just say my oldest devoured most of the entire fried rice, it was that good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced (spice to your liking)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 2 whole limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 Thai basil
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Sunny side up egg, per serving (optional)
  • salt, to taste

Add the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground pork.

Once the pork is nicely cooked, add in the shallots, chilies, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, mint and basil, as well as the toasted rice powder. Give this a good stir, and cook for about another 4 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the skillet and place into a bowl. Now let’s start on the fried rice portion.

Wipe out the skillet, and place back onto the stove on medium heat. Add in the butter, and cook until it gets nice and bubbly, but not browned. Add in the cooled rice, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir, and press down, breaking up the rice. Once the rice softens a bit and begins to steam through, raise the heat a bit, and then add in the Thai larb. Gently mix, caramelizing the rice and larb. Once you have a nice fried rice, taste and season with any salt. When you are ready to serve, place in serving bowls, and serve with a nicely fried egg, if you desire.

Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe
Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe

Garnish with roasted peanuts, fresh mint, and any additional Thai bird chili peppers if you desire.

Again, larb by itself is so tasty, but now when mixed with a fried rice, well let’s just say the game just got better. Did I mention that when you cut into the sunny side up egg and the yolk runs into the Thai larb fried rice? Whoa. It’s great.

If you are looking to change up your fried rice, or even try Thai larb, I would highly recommend this recipe. Hope you all enjoy!

Thai Larb Fried Rice
Author: 
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • ⅓ cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced (spice to your liking)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 2 whole limes, juiced
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ Thai basil
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Sunny side up egg, per serving (optional)
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground pork.
  2. Once the pork is nicely cooked, add in the shallots, chilies, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, mint and basil, as well as the toasted rice powder. Give this a good stir, and cook for about another 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the mixture from the skillet and place into a bowl. Now let’s start on the fried rice portion.
  4. Wipe out the skillet, and place back onto the stove on medium heat. Add in the butter, and cook until it gets nice and bubbly, but not browned. Add in the cooled rice, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir, and press down, breaking up the rice. Once the rice softens a bit and begins to steam through, raise the heat a bit, and then add in the Thai larb. Gently mix, caramelizing the rice and larb. Once you have a nice fried rice, taste and season with any salt. When you are ready to serve, place in serving bowls, and serve with a nicely fried egg, if you desire.

 

Baingan Bharta

I’ve been on an Indian food making deal lately. I’m not sure if my attempt is to start eating more healthy, or if it is to get rid of an array, and large quantity of Indian spices. Who knows, but I’m leaning more on the side of trying to eat more healthy, and I think Indian food, for the most part, is a good example of using great spices that are good for you, as well as getting more vegetables incorporated into the meat. This is a perfect example of this type of dish, baingan bharta.

Baingan bharta is roasted eggplant dip, similar in some ways to baba ghanoush. This one however uses different spices, and really makes it an awesome eggplant curry that is perfectly paired with naan, or other Indian style bread, or better yet served with a small bit of rice.

Baingan Bartha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 whole red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro

The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.

If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.

Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.

Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.

How to make baingan bartha

 

To a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.

Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

This stuff is highly addicting. It has all of those great Indian flavors that you would expect, along with some spice from the chilies. Let’s just say my daughter loved this, and I did as well. If you are looking for another great eggplant dip, give this one a try. I hope you enjoy!

Baingan Bharta
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks, Dips, Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ whole red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.
  2. If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.
  3. Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.
  4. Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  5. To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.
  6. o a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.
  7. Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  8. Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.