BASMATI JOLLOF RICE AND CHICKEN

When you hear the name Basmati Rice what comes into your mind? I’m sure by now you are reasoning why basmati rice and what is it all about? Not to worry, it’s nothing bad.

WHAT IS BASMATI RICE?
Basmati rice is one of the best-known varieties of rice we have out there. The word “basmati” comes from the Sanskrit word “vasmati” which means “fragrant” or “aromatic.” Long-grained, extremely aromatic, with a light nutty flavour, basmati is mostly grown in the north of India and Pakistan, mainly using traditional growing methods. It is quite similar to long grain parboiled rice in terms of nutritional content but basmati rice is a soft rice variety hence if you try to prepare it with the method detailed for other Nigerian rice recipes, it will become disastrous!
3 PERFECT TIPS FOR BASMATI RICE
1. You have to use the best quality Indian or Pakistani basmati rice, personally, i used Tilda, but there are several other good quality brands available also.
2. Rinse the rice with clean water, the water must not necessarily be clean like when rinsing Japanese rice. The essence of rinsing it is to get rid of some starch and to avoid sands as well. After that add a little salt to the rice in the pot, before adding water for cooking. This method helps the salt absorb into the rice grains. Do not add salt after the rice is cooked, as your rice can taste salty.
3. Use a tight fitting lid, or ideally, use aluminium foil, crimped tightly over the top of the sauce pan to make a good seal, so evaporation does not take place. The tightly covered pan lets the rice steam perfectly.
4. I must say this If you are to use basmati rice when preparing large quantities of rice and add a little water. It is safer to cook the rice in small batches in order to avoid it from becoming too watery. But if you still wish to cook it all at once, just add small amount not too much water when cooking ( what ever that comes out of it is all on you Lol)

WHAT BASMATI RICE IS SERVED WITH
In south India, rice is their staple food. All other dishes accompany the rice. Here are few accompaniments that go really good with basmati rice:

• Chicken Tikka Masala
• Spiced Lamb Meatballs
• Rajmah Chawal
• Kerala Coconut Chicken Curry
• Tilapia in a Yoghurt and Ginger Curry

COME TO THINK OF IT, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BASMATI RICE AND REGULAR RICE (WHICH IS BOTH THE BROWN AND WHITE VERSIONS)?

• Basmati rice is a unique species of rice originating from India. Just like all species of rice, basmati is available both in white or brown versions, depending on the extent of the milling process. Just like jasmine rice, that has its own unique smell.

• But in the case of basmati, this smell is due to the presence of a chemical called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which is found in basmati rice at about 90 parts per billion. That’s about 12 times more than in other types of rice, giving basmati its special aroma.

• While Brown basmati rice is comparable to other types of brown rice in nutrient content (although it does contain about 20% more fibre compared to most other types of brown rice), and white basmati rice is comparable to other types of white rice.

• In order to produce white rice, the bran layers of the rice have to be milled off. Most times the rice germ is also removed during this abrasive grinding process. At this point in the process, the rice is called milled, unpolished white rice. In the Final stage, a wire brush machine is used to remove the aleuronic layer that remains on the rice. This step is called polishing. As polishing is not an all-or-nothing process, semi-polished rice may still contain parts of its aleurone layer.

• The bran, germ, and aleurone layers of rice contain most of the fat content found in rice and are the source of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E as well as many other nutrients. If the high-fat components of the rice grain are left intact, the shelf life of the rice greatly declines, this is partly the motivation for manufacturers to remove the bran, germ, and aleurone layers of rice, although this process reduces its nutritional value.

Is Basmati rice good for you?

Of course, it is to some point. Fragrant white basmati rice is delicious though less in nutrition. Even though brown rice doesn’t contain much fibre, it still provides the nutritional trifecta of a whole grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm, which supply good-for-you nutrients. Whole-grain brown basmati, by the way, has a tasty choice.

How many calories are in basmati rice?
To be precise, 3/4 cup cooked Basmati rice provides 150 calories, 0 g fat, 3 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate and 0 g fibre, while the same serving of cooked brown Basmati rice contains about 162 calories, 1.5 g fat, 3.8 g protein, 33.8 g carbohydrate and 3 g fibre. That’s how far I can go from here.

THINGS NEEDED

Measuring cups and spoons
Strainer
Bowl for washing the rice
Sauce pot with lid

RECIPES
i. 2 cigar cups | 500g basmati rice
ii. 350 Tomato paste (or more to your taste)
iii. ½ of a whole chicken
iv. 1 teaspoon thyme
v. 2 teaspoons curry powder (Nigerian curry powder)
vi. 2-3 seasoning cubes
vii. 1 onion
viii. Salt
ix. Habanero pepper (to taste)
x. Water for cooking
xi. bay leaf

DIRECTIONS
1. Place a clean sauce pan with a tight fitting lid on medium heat, add in the oil and heat the oil, add the chopped onions and bay leaves. Stir fry till the onion becomes tender.
2. Add in the tomato paste, cover and allow frying for 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the seasoning cube, thyme, curry powder, chilli powder and salt, after some minutes add 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat to medium low heat, add the rice and cover the pan with the foil and then the lid. (this process is extremely important that the pot is well covered so as to infuse each grain of rice)
4. Leave to cook (on medium low heat) for about 25 minutes. Then remove the pan from heat, when it’s well cooked. If the texture of the rice isn’t to your liking at this point, simply cover the pan tightly for another 6-10 minutes (there is no need to return the pan back to the heat, the retained heat is enough to continue to cook the rice). Otherwise, the rice is ready to serve with the steamed chicken or rather fried chicken.
Ensure to remove the bay leafs and Serve jollof rice with your choice of protein

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