Adrak na Chawal | Ginger Rice
Food was an important part of my travels through Sri Lanka. My friends and I had the opportunity to sample a variety of curries and rice dishes. The rice I had with fresh ginger was the most interesting. I decided to recreate it because it piqued my interest enough, and I'll share my version of the recipe with you here. It was pungent to the palette and served alongside a delicate white curry laced with the local arrack liquor, which is made from coconut flower sap. I think it pairs well with our traditional Parsi white lagun no saas, which is a fish (or prawn) sauce made with small, whole silver pomfrets and frequently served by itself at Parsi wedding feasts.
With the love for fresh ginger growing in popularity everywhere, this rice may just become your new favourite!
2 cups rice
2 tsp oil
1 flat tsp turmeric
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or pulped
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups coconut water
2 cups water
A handful of thinly sliced fried onions
Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Heat the oil, stir in the rice, turmeric, ginger, and salt for one minute, and then add the coconut water and plain water, bringing it to a boil. Allow it to cook uncovered over a high flame until the water has mostly evaporated and the rice is visible. Cover it tightly, lower the heat to low and allow it to steam for 22 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Garnish with fried onions or grated fresh coconut.
Fresh ginger pulp gives this dish a wonderful aroma and flavour; adjust the ginger according to your palate. However, a teaspoon of ginger powder can be used as a substitute.
Ginger powder loses its potency when stored for a long period of time. Smell it before adding it. If it is not pungent to the nose, add more than a teaspoon. Before adding it, heat it in warm oil to bring the stale ginger powder to life.
Other options to flavour the rice include a stick of cinnamon, black peppercorns, cloves, or green cardamoms.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.
Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala