If you ever move house, ask me to loan my friend, Timi to you.
She’s the business. And not only because she made the most amazing Nigerian fried rice for me when I first moved to Lagos…nope, not only because of that.
First up, just for being there/ here. Going at my own pace and then some. She came armed with suggestion, things I hadn’t considered about where what should go where and when.
Second of all – the food.
She made sure I was well fed with pizza and Kilishi and garri.
But the best of all? Nigerian Fried rice. It was amazing – cooked with basmati, shrimps, vegetables and coconut milk.
The killer though? The hint of spice and lovely fragrance from yellow chilli peppers.
Since she made this last September, I haven’t let her rest. So much so that she came on Sunday, fresh from church to cook us all a pot.
And yes, it was as awesome as the first time, and more.
And because of this, we’re covered for dinner, lunch boxes and then some.
If you ever move, I’ll rent her to you…for a small, fine fee.
Thank me later
- 7 1/2 cups basmati rice
- 4 1/2 - 6 cups stock
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- Steamed beef strips (if using)
- 1 cup hard mixed veggies - onions, carrots; diced
- 3 cups soft mixed veggies - spring onions, bell peppers, green beans; diced
- 1/2 cup green tops of spring onions; sliced
- 1 cup sweetcorn
- Aromatics - ginger & curry paste
- Spices - curry powder, dried thyme
- Yellow chilli peppers
- Salt to taste
- Soak basmati rice for at least 30 minutes
- Drain away the soaking liquid
- Add stock and coconut milk to rice
- Season lightly with salt
- Set to cook on medium heat, about 12 - 15 minutes till al dente, cooked but with bite
- In a large pot, heat up 3 - 4 tablespoons of oil
- Add aromatics and onions - let cook for a minute or two
- Follow with strips of cooked beef and carrots, stirring the whole time
- Add the soft mixed veggies and continue to stir fry. Season with spices to taste but with a light hand
- After a few minutes, begin adding the cooked rice and sweetcorn in batches of 2 - 3 cooking spoons, stirring well each time
- Continue this way till you've added all the rice
- Taste and adjust seasoning
- Put the lid on the top, and let cook
- After 5 minutes, with the lid on, shake the top with flipping motions. This way, the grains don't become mushy from over-stirring
- Taste and let cook till ready
- We served ours with fried plantains, an apple & cucumber salad and some gravy
- I tend to buy 'aged' basmati rice. The aging process does a few things - reduces the moisture content in the rice and intensifies the fragrant qualities, letting the aromatic oils shine.
- Before cooking, basmati rice should be soaked for at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours. This does wonders for the way it absorbs water, holds it shape and shortens the cooking time.
- The grains of soaked basmati tend to stay long and separate, and generally cook for a shorter time than the unsoaked.
Peace & Love