This meal contains some of my favourite Asian ingredients – pandan, jasmine rice, curry leaves, turmeric, curry paste + some “everyday” staples like cauliflower, peas ,tomato, and prawns.
I have always wanted to grow pandan, but haven’t been able to buy a plant yet. I use the frozen leaves. They are aromatic, cheap and handy, but I would dearly love a fresh plant one day. It is a tropical plant – maybe it wouldn’t survive here in Adelaide?
The smell of pandan is very evocative for me. Violets have the same effect. Both scents bring tears to my eyes *blush*
Turmeric I use fresh whenever I can get it. The fresh rhizome looks a little like fresh ginger, smaller though. Same thin skin. I just use my Magiplane to grate turmeric, skin and all. The colour and taste of fresh turmeric is incomparable and nothing like the dried spice, although I have to make do with that most of the time. Where as the dried can smell and taste a little dusty, fresh turmeric has a sharp, refreshing smell and a flavour all of it’s own. When it’s grated it looks like a little pile of grated carrot. It’s bright orange! Not yellow like the dried spice.
Now recognised as a powerful antioxidant, and having anti carcinogenic properties, clinical trials have shown turmeric to also be of assistance to those with Alzheimer’s. The active ingredient is believed to be the curcumin in the plant. Turmeric has long been used for it’s anti inflammatory properties in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
This curry was a bit of a thrown together affair. It was after 6pm, and I hadn’t started anything…
Let me tell you what I did.
There are two parts to this meal:
Coconut & Pandan Rice
washed jasmine rice
2 pandan leaves: scrunched up to release the flavour and tied in a knot
1 tsp of dried turmeric
salt to taste
half coconut milk and half water for the liquid
I cook my rice in the microwave using the absorption method. As you can see, I use a medium Pyrex casserole dish. The liquid is poured over the rice until it is about 2cm above the rice, a tight lid is put on and I microwave it on high for about 16 minutes.
I have a rice cooker but I seem to cook small quantities most of the time and the rice cooker seems too big unless we have company.
Prawn & Cauliflower Curry
About 1 tablespoon of peanut oil went into the pan . Some dried curry leaves went in for a little minute, and the chopped garlic, onion and red chilli.
I used an Asia At Home bottled yellow curry spice paste tonight.
Cauliflower, broken into little florets, chopped tomato, a few pea and frozen, raw prawns were tossed about in the spice paste mix.
In went the rest of the tin of coconut milk, left from preparing the rice, 2 teaspoons of sugar and some salt.
By the time the prawns had thawed and cooked, the cauliflower was tender and dinner was ready.
You may like to boil the sauce hard to reduce it a little. Frozen prawns give off a lot of liquid. Some might say that this would toughten the prawns, but honestly? The curry will still be delicious and if the prawns are more toothsome, then that’s just fine 🙂
The rice was tender, aromatic and special – like nasi lemak rice.
A lovely meal. I think you’d enjoy it 🙂