This is doubtless not the approved way to cook rice, but it is easy and it works.
- 50-60 gm Long-Grain Rice (Basmati for preference) per person
- 1 large, or 2 small, Lemons
- half teaspoon ground Turmeric
- small pinch Salt (optional)
- Boiling Water
This is what you do:
- Grate the zest from the lemon and put it aside.
- Now juice the lemon (not too hard, you want a bit of the flesh left) and put the juice aside as well. Keep the lemon half-shells.
- Put the rice in a saucepan with the lemon half-shells. Add the turmeric and a tiny pinch of salt.
- Add most of a kettle of boiling water, bring back to the boil, stirring a couple of times to make sure the rice isn't adhering to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the rice is done.
- Just as the rice is done remove the lemon pieces to a plate and scrape the flesh and juice from inside them. Discard the lemon peel.
- Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse with some boiling water. Shake to dry and tip it into a warmed dish.
- Add all the lemon (zest, juice and recovered flesh) and stir it in gently.
- Serve with curry.
- This method produces a slightly wet, but not sticky, rice, which works fine with curry.
- The turmeric gives the rice a lovely bright yellow colour — but it needs the acidity of the lemon to do this. If you leave out the lemon (or in fact anything acid) but not the turmeric the rice comes out a muddy beige colour. That's all down to the chemistry of the pigments in the turmeric which are yellow in acid but red in alkaline (ie. most tap water). I think the acid also helps fix the colour to the rice grains.
- You can do this with lime as well, though the flavour is more subtle.
- Or you can cook plain rice this way — just leave out the lemon and turmeric.