Rice Bonanza – Part 6

There’s been a little delay in getting these ricey posts up, but rest assured we’re on track for full year’s set by the end of December.

In Part 6 we have four more creations, each using that champion rice in a different way. There’s a super list of ingredients in an Indian Biriyani, a twist on how to use an Italian Bolognese, some fishy business that’s packed with turmeric for colour and spice and what is now one of my favourite soups – a true dark horse – the Turkish yogurt, chicken and rice soup.

Recipe 23 – Biriyani

RB 23 Biriyani


This is a classic Indian rice dish that is packed with flavours and textures. It’s about an hour in the making, but the long list of ingredients below shouldn’t be daunting, as it’s quite straightforward in process.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ½ cup fried shallots
  • Large handful of coriander leaves
  • Large handful of mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, to serve
  • Sultanas, to serve
  • Cashew nuts, crushed, to serve


  • 200 gr basmati rice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5cm piece of ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 500 gr chicken drumsticks
  • ½ cup natural yogurt
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste



  1. Heat milk in tiny dish in microwave for 5 seconds. Add saffron to infuse. Set aside.
  2. Place rice, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon in a saucepan with a litre of cold water. Place on stove and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes, so the rice is par cooked. Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine ginger and garlic with 1 tablespoon of water in a blender and blitz to paste. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli powder and chillies and stir for 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger paste and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to sear quickly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add yogurt, tomato and salt, stir to combine then cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 180C. In a casserole dish, spread half the rice to form a bottom layer. Place the chicken mix on top of the rice, followed by a layer of coriander and mint, followed by a layer of fried shallots, and finished with a layer of the remaining rice.
  7. Combine saffron infusion and turmeric. Create a well in one corner of the dish and pour saffron turmeric mix in. Cover dish and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Transfer biriyani to serving bowls and top with hardboiled egg halves, sultanas and crushed cashew nuts.










Recipe 24 – Turkish yogurt, chicken and rice soup

RB 25 turkish soup



  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 500 gr chicken thigh fillets, chopped into 3cm pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 400 gr can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • Lemon wedges, for serving



  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until barely tender.
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer in saucepan over moderately high heat. Add chicken pieces and cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked. Remove chicken from stock and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the yogurt, egg yolk and flour in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the stock and bring to a simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally. Stir in chickpeas, rice and reserved chicken. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
  4. Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the garlic, paprika and cayenne and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in the garlic butter. Sprinkle with the mint and serve with lemon wedges.






Recipe 25 – Rice and Bolognese bake

RB 24 bog bake



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Half bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 500 gr beef mince
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 400 gr can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup tasty cheese, grated
  • Basil leaves, to serve



  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan and cook onion, fennel and garlic until softened. Add mince and cook, breaking up with a spoon until browned. Add wine and cook to reduce for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, beef stock, tomato paste, herbs and arborio rice and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into greased oven dish and top with grated cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve with bread.






Recipe 26 – Fish rice

RB 26 fish rice



  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 fillets of firm white fish
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ a broccoli, florets and stem chopped into small pieces
  • ½ a capsicum, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of red cabbage, chopped
  • Bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stems chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce



  1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook rice for 10 minutes, or until just tender. Pour rice into colander, rinsing with cold water or setting aside to cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Coat fish in turmeric, cumin, coriander, 1 clove crushed garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook fish in pan, keeping any spices that fall off, turning a couple of times, until cooked through. Remove fish and set aside. Place any remaining spices into the pan.
  3. Add broccoli, capsicum and carrot to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Increase heat to high and add rice, spring onions and remaining garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add peas, cabbage and coriander stems and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Return fish to pan, breaking it up into small pieces as you stir through. Stir through fish sauce and coriander leaves and serve.





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