Hands down rice has to be one of the most common foods in the world.
Research shows it is a staple for more than 3.5 billion people around the globally, particularly in Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa. Botswana doesn’t have a traditional rice dis,h but it makes its way on to many menus in different styles due to our cultural diversity.
Rice can be served simple/plain, on the other hand it can have a huge flavour profile and be the star of the meal. We love rice and rice starch water because of its usage diversity. Rice itself is easy to prepare and its strain/soak water can be used for home remedies & beauty hacks such as, promoting hair growth, skin care and to treat an upset stomach.
Typically we cook long grain rice but there are many different types and we are most commonly exposed to brown rice and basmati.
Rice is quite easy to prepare but it is not uncommon to hear “I hate cooking rice” or “it never comes out right”, like all things in the kitchen, rice must be approached with care and attention.
Spekko Basmati has a slightly higher price point than long grain rice, the advantages of having some in the pantry outweigh the price difference.
For one, it cooks in 7mins, making it great for 15min meals and is ideal for days when you are too tired to spend hours in the kitchen or if you just have other things to attend to. The kitchen can be a fun place to be, but there are times when you just want to in and out. Secondly, it’s a sure bet and definite winner in creating authentic Indian and Chinese dishes.
Frozen Vegetables and Chips have always had a bad rep, but over the years brands have done best to ensure their products are as close to the real thing as possible.
Natures Garden Frozen Vegetables and Chips flash freeze their vegetables within hours of harvesting and this locks in all the goodness and taste you would sometimes miss. These are another one of our well-kept secrets for creating 15 minute meals.
Basmati can make or break you, and many who have braved the mission of prepping it can attest to this. It puts your patience to the test, and it will humble you if approached without caution. Having always been able to make long grain rice I assumed it meant I could make any rice. For years I struggled to get my basmati to be the consistency we know it to be from our favourite food outlets. Undoubtedly, my first few tries turned out to be embarrassing bowls of what resembled rice pudding…. I say rice pudding never having had it, but imagining its clumpy, soft and slightly jiggly.
My full blown
I remember sharing a post online the same day asking others if they too have suffered super high levels of anxiety when cooking basmati. Needless to say the sentiments shared by many were comforting. What I learned was to 1.Soak the rice for 30min. 2.Rinse it 7 times. 3. Cover it with water and cook on medium heat undisturbed for 7 minutes. 4.Fluff and remove from heat. These simple steps result in grade A basmati.
Fried rice is typically made with ingredients left over from other dishes, leading to countless variations. In one of the #chellzkitchen classes, we made a Shrimp fried rice for seafood lovers with an option of Chicken.
Patrick (not his real name) was very excited, having lived in East Africa where fried rice was something he became very familiar with.
When he opened the pot for what must have been the fifth time while cooking and was now also stirring, I cautioned him but also trusted his method. All the while we followed our seven-minutes method. Safe to say Patrick’s rice didn’t do the things that make the pots, but sharing is caring and we all enjoyed a delicious lunch.
Shrimp Fried Rice
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 Cups Natures Garden Frozen Mixed Vegetables (room temperature)
1 cloves garlic, minced
salt and black pepper
1 cup Spekko Basmati
1 green onions, thinly sliced
3–4 tablespoons All Joy Soy Sauce,
Shrimp/ Prawns or Chicken
Wash rice and soak for 30min. Cook for 7 – 8 min and allow put aside to rest and cool
To a pan add oil then shrimp/prawns or chicken, and cook over medium-high heat for about three minutes, flipping halfway through.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.
Add an additional one tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add Natures Garden Frozen Mixed Vegetables, onion and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for about five minutes or until the onion and veggies are soft.
Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted.
Immediately add the rice, green onions, All Joy Soy Sauce and oyster sauce (if using), and stir until combined. Continue sautéing for an additional five minutes to fry the rice, stirring occasionally. Then add in the eggs and shrimp and stir to combine. Taste and season with extra soy sauce, if needed.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to three days.