Sometimes the simplest foods can turn out to be the most flavorful. Take this short grain brown rice, for example. On its own, rice can be relatively basic and bland. However, this fact makes rice a perfect sponge for any seasonings you wish to use. This Fragrant Golden Rice, transformed by turmeric, garlic, and ginger, becomes a beautifully delicious side dish.
Chances are you’ve heard of golden milk before. This flavorful Ayurvedic beverage has been all the rage for the past several years due to its anti-inflammatory benefits. I decided to take the flavors of golden milk in a savory direction by infusing them into short grain brown rice. In this recipe for Fragrant Golden Rice, this humble grain is elevated to new heights with the addition of fragrant spices added at the beginning of the cooking process. Turmeric, a great source of antioxidants and vitamins, gives the rice a striking golden hue. Garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin round out the aromatic ingredient list. Not only would this rice pair wonderfully with a hearty curry or stew, but the bold spices make the rice flavorful enough to be enjoyed alone.
The Magic Of Oven Rice
While going to culinary school at Bauman College, I was first introduced to the concept of oven rice. After years of dealing with undercooked rice, overcooked rice, soggy rice, pots boiling over, and all the other annoyances of cooking rice on the stovetop, preparing rice in the oven was a total revelation to me. In a dutch oven, first cook the spices briefly on the stovetop to release their flavor compounds, then add water and bring to a boil. Next, add the rice and cover with a lid. Finally, place the dutch oven into a heated oven, then simply wait for the magic to happen.
Adding the rice into boiling water rather than starting the cooking process cold ensures that the individual grains of rice retain a perfect, defined texture. Once removed from the oven, this golden rice has an ideal consistency. The plump grains have just the right amount of bite and firmness. This rice makes a wonderful companion for soups, stews, and curries (such as my Morroccan-Spiced Stew). I’m not usually an advocate for eating leftovers straight out of the refrigerator, but this golden rice is surprisingly delicious served cold. Use the cold or room temperature rice as a base for a buddha bowl, or sprinkle it on top of a salad. The best part is that you can use this oven rice method with any other spice combinations you like, so feel free to have fun and experiment with different flavors.
Simple brown rice is elevated to a new level with the addition of fragrant spices added at the beginning of the cooking process. Turmeric, a great source of antioxidants and vitamins, gives the rice a striking golden hue. Not only would this pair wonderfully with a hearty curry or stew, but the bold spices make the rice flavorful enough to be eaten alone.
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups short grain brown rice
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant and golden, about 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric and stir often until spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add water and sea salt and stir well to combine. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately add rice, stir well, and top with a tight-fitting lid. Alternatively, cover the dutch oven with parchment paper, then wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Immediately place in oven and bake until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 1 hour.
- Remove from oven, stir, replace cover, and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.