While I cooked this as a side dish when I made it for our friends to check out the chicken curry recipe, it also works well as a meat-free main dish.
The recipe works well using brown basmati however you could substitute white. Why should you use brown rice? Well, brown rice is a whole grain, much less processed than white. In brown rice, the whole kernel left intact and is still surrounded by all layers of bran. White rice is milled which removes the bran, germ, and most of the aleurone layers. These contain the fiber, B vitamins and most of the fat content which are the source of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E as well as many other nutrients. Brown rice has a bit more protein and iron, too. On the down side, brown rice does take about twice as long to cook and the fat content can reduce shelf life. (Most of this information is from Whole Foods website.)
I have included two ways to cook this. Many of you have a rice cooker and would like to use it. Others want to use a pan and saute' the rice for extra flavor so I have included instructions for using a pan also.
Coconut-Cashew Brown Basmati Rice
2 tsp. canola or veggie oil
½-3/4 cup cashews (raw is great but I have used lightly salted canned)
1-2 more TBSPN oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 -1 ½ TBSPN ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked dried coconut or fresh coconut
2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
1 tsp salt
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 or so TBSPN toasted sesame seeds
Pan method: In a large wide pan with a tight fitting lid, heat the 2 tsp oil. Add cashews and toast them up till golden. Remove to plate.
Add another TBSPN oil and sauté garlic and ginger for a minute or so. Add unsweetened coconut and brown rice. Sauté for another 2 minutes then lower heat and add 2 cups hot water, coconut milk and salt. Cover with lid and cook on low for 50 minutes.
Once rice is tender yet al dente, add cashews and mix. Fold in sweetened shredded coconut, cilantro and green onions. Put in serving dish or on plate and top with toasted sesame.
Rice cooker method: Put brown rice coconut milk, water, 2 tsp oil and salt into rice cooker and set for brown rice.
Once the rice is cooked, which takes about 50 minutes, heat a large pan, add a TBSPN or so of oil. First toast cashews for a couple minutes until golden and crispy. Add unsweetened coconut and then garlic and ginger, cook for 1 minute. Add cooked rice. Gently stir until well mixed. Fold in sweetened shredded coconut, cilantro and green onions . Put in serving dish or on plate and top with toasted sesame.
Copyright by Denise Birdsall. 2011 All Rights Reserved.