Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dave's Spanish style rice

I grew up eating basmati rice. The rice cooker was used at least once a day and when the smell of rice was present, you knew a meal was soon to be ready. After living in Japan, I was exposed to Japanese style rice and their amazing rice cookers. As a result, my kitchen now must house both basmati and Japanese rice at all times, utilizing the most appropriate one depending on the accompanying dish. And yes, I use the Japanese rice cooker for both types of rice. This rice dish was actually made with jasmine rice. The Korean grocer in our neighborhood does not carry basmati, so I bought this bag when in a pinch. The size of the grain and its texture worked out perfectly for Dave’s Spanish style rice. I love this dish - I associate non-plain rice with special occasions. Maybe because I remember my father telling me that the yellow, sweet saffron rice that he would cook was traditionally only eaten at weddings and other special occasions due to the cost of saffron and the resulting color of the dish. Briyani was also cooked only on occasions in our home [however, he now cooks it more frequently than when I was younger. Could it be because it is a special occasion when I visit the home? I will have to ask]. In Japan, azuki bean rice is also reserved celebrations. Wonderfully salty, this rice dish packs a punch with beans, cayenne pepper, and other lovely spices. This time, when cooking the spices we included Thai basil seeds.

prep work for Dave's Spanish Rice