The sausages are store-bought. It’s just the rice that I cooked. The trick here to save time is to cook both the sausages and rice at the same time. How?
The most basic way to cook the sausages is to prick them all over, simmer them in a little water then fry them in rendered fat. But that means checking in on them incessantly to make sure that the water does not dry out before the sausages are cooked through. It also means rolling and turning them in rendered fat for even browning.
It’s hard to mind the coconut curry rice if you have to keep one eye on the sausages. So, the better way is to prick the sausages, place them on a rack and grill them in the oven. Or use an airfryer which would do a faster job since it doesn’t need preheating. With the sausage component out of the way, you can focus on the rice.
Cooking my coconut cream curry rice began with a spice base. This is the backbone of the dish so you have to choose a combination that works well — scallions (white and light green portions only), ginger and cilantro roots and stems in my case — and you need patience to saute them together to coax out the flavor and aroma of each ingredient.
Once the spice base was ready, other ingredients that add flavor, texture and color to the dish were tossed in. Nuts add a lovely crunch with every mouthful, carrots provide color and sultanas impart sweetness. The first round of seasonings went in at this stage. Just a little salt and pepper to begin creating flavor contrast.
Next, the rice. I prefer basmati because of the low starch content which means the grains don’t clamp together even if I accidentally add more liquid than is necessary to cook the rice to fluffiness.
Curry powder was sprinkled in and everything was stirred together until the mixture acquired a homogenous color before the liquids were added. Liquids? Plural? I added water and coconut cream. By itself, coconut cream is too thick and rich to cook the rice evenly. So, I added water first and let the rice absorb all of it first before pouring the coconut cream.
By the time the rice had soaked up the coconut cream, the overall color of the dish had lightened, the flavors had all come together and the coconut curry rice was ready to serve.
Coconut cream curry rice
- 1 ½ tablespoons palm oil
- ½ cup sliced scallions white and light green portions only
- 1 one-inch knob ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro stems and roots
- ¼ cup chopped toasted nuts cashew nuts were used here
- 1 small carrot peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup sultanas
- 1 ½ cups basmati rice
- 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
- fish sauce
- 1 ½ cups coconut cream
- Heat the palm oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Saute the scallions, ginger and cilantro until softened and aromatic.
- Add the cashew nuts, carrot and cilantro, sprinkle in a few pinches of salt and pepper, and cook for a minute.
- Pour in the rice and sprinkle in the curry powder.
- Stir and add two tablespoons of fish sauce.
- Pour in a cup of water, set the heat to low, cover the pan and leave to allow the rice to absorb the water.
- Pour in the coconut cream and stir.
- Taste and add more fish sauce, as needed.
- Cover the pan once more and leave until all the coconut cream has been soaked up.
- Fluff up the rice with a fork, taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Tip: Squirt in a little lime or lemon juice and toss before serving.