Inga's Indulgence

Thursday, February 16, 2012

From Eh to Oh Yeah!

Dumping the white rice that is always left over after Chinese takeout dinners does not sit well with me.

I've tried extending its life in the past by refrigerating and convincing myself that it will make an excellent side. Unfortunately, after just a few hours in the fridge the rice was rendered neither excellent, nor remotely palatable (though if ground up into a paste, it would probably make for good putty to fill the cracks in your walls).

So the last time I was left with a mountain of bland white rice, I knew something had to be done. So much potential to be great, this was not the end of the road for this rice.

What I made was a stark contrast to the bland that this rice had once been. I termed it "Jazzy" Pilaf.

Jazzy Pilaf
(yield: 5-6 servings)

1/3 cup canola oil
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tbsp nigella seeds
1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 scallions, thinly sliced  
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup garbanzo beans
5 cups cooked white rice (you can use brown rice for a healthier alternative)
salt, as needed

Place oil, cinnamon stick, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, garlic, white parts of the scallions (reserving the green parts for garnish), and red pepper flakes into a large, deep saute pan or wok over medium-low heat. Let the oil slowly come to a simmer, and get infused with all the spices. Add garbanzo beans, and saute 1-2 minutes.

Add the rice and mix well to distribute the oil and spices. Season to taste with salt. Remove cinnamon stick and garlic. Garnish with reserved scallions, and serve.

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