Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Nutty Rice with cashews, peanuts and coconut

"Christmas is coming"

November brings another month of recipes that would be great for thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I have quite a few goodies in store; ham, biscuits, potatoes, lasagna, chicken, maybe duck (I’m a little afraid of the medium rare cooking requirements of duck lol). A holiday table (at least one in Jamaica) would be incomplete without a rice dish, it’s the staple side of life. So first up in this month of holiday recipes, is the rice.

Jamaicans will eat rice and peas for every meal. You go to have dinner, its rice and peas. When you buy a box lunch, its rice and peas. At every function, on Sundays, or holiday dinner its rice and peas. The type of peas may vary but its always rice and peas. To be quite honest, its yummy, but it’s getting really played out.

It so happened that last Sundays dinner had to do double duty. It had to be both dinner and this blog post. While grocery shopping the Friday before, I walked the isles looking at the different things I could use to make rice. I looked at the fruits, the meats, the herbs, then I stopped at the nut isle and realized I had never posted a rice recipe using nuts. I’ve done sausage and pumpkin, sweet potato, mushrooms, ackee, beef, fried rice, but never a nutty rice.  Cashews and peanuts were the most obvious choices, you could use any nut you like. I would imagine pecans, walnuts, pistachios and almonds would also be nice additions. I chose cashews for their sweetness and peanuts for the intense flavor they have.

If you notice the recipe calls for half the quantity of peanuts than cashews. I didn’t want it to be overly ‘peanuty’ because peanuts do have a way of taking over the flavor of everything, especially when paired with a subtle flavored nut like cashew. All in all, I must say the rice was fabulous. Surprisingly my absolute favorite part of the dish were the coconut flakes. They absorbed the coconut milk and took on a lovely texture.  The curry flavor is there but not an ‘in your face’ curry flavor, the cranberries and cashews added sweetness. The only thing I would probably do different next time is to add some more cranberries. One quarter cup may be too small, so that you can adjust to your liking.

If you wanted to add an herb, I would suggest some fresh thyme, that would pair very well with the rice (I only had dried thyme) and a yummy fruit chutney would be the thing to just set this rice over the top.

Ingredients (printable recipe)

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
2/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup peanuts
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup cranberries
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 cups basmati rice
6 cups coconut milk
2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)


  • Roughly chop the peanuts and break the cashews into smaller bits
  • In a dry pan add the nuts and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until toasted and fragrant
  • Add coconut oil, curry powder and onions, saute until the onions have become transparent
  • Add the cranberries and rice, stir until the oil and curry have coated all the rice grains
  • Stir in the coconut flakes and add the coconut milk
  • Season with salt and sugar, if using a rice cooker follow the manual to cook rice
  • If using a stove top bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low
  • Cover with foil and a pot cover and let it cook for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes while still covered remove from the heat and let it steam in its own heat for another 8 minutes
  • Fluff the rice and serve

Xoxo Greedygirl

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