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As the sun is shining and the days become longer the urge to make food full of light and fresh produce, particularly exotic foods from tropical and far away places.  So, as I lay awake very early this morning thinking about of what to cook for Alfie when he comes home in a few days time (yes food is never too far off my mind), I remembered that we had a can of coconut milk still in the cupboard that was screaming to be used.  Initially I had thought about cooking a meat dish with a side of rice and peas, nice enough but nothing new.

As dawn started to break and the sunshine began to shine through the windows, mangoes came in to my head, which I thought would go great with the coconut and rice.  Ok, so coconut and mango is not a revolution in the flavour combination stakes, but coconut and mango rice dishes are usually served as a delicacy in Thai culture with the addition of sugar to make a simple and quick dessert.

 

However, I was all about a savoury version as a side dish in a main meal.

*Savoury Coconut Mango Rice*

Ingredients (vegetarian, makes 4 medium sized portions)

  • 2 1/2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • water
  • 2/3 of a can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 chopped mango
  • 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
  • a handful of chopped coriander (optional)

Rinse the rice under cold water.

Place the rice in a large pan and cover in just enough water to cover and add the stock cube.  Bring the rice to the boil then turn the temperature down and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes until the grains become tender.  Once the rice has soaked up all of the water it should be almost cooked.  Take off the heat and pour in the coconut and stir through.  Cover the rice with foil or with a saucepan lid and allow the rice to finish cooking by steaming it for around 10 minutes, resulting in fluffy rice.

Once the rice is fully cooked fluff with a fork and add the sunflower seeds, mango and chopped coriander.  Stir through with a fork until everything is well distributed.

Serve and enjoy!

Also, most Thai recipes call for the use of glutinous rice or sticky rice, which take on sweet flavours quite well.  Nothing can over ride that wholesome nutty flavour provided by the brown rice.

This would be perfect with any fish or meat dish, with a vegetable curry or stew, with baked tempeh or tofu or as part of a salad.  I’ve just made some of my yellow split pea curry which I’m going to have this with tomorrow…I can’t wait!

Where do you find your inspiration when creating a recipe?

Is there any thought process behind the recipe or is it a case of being a lucky mistake?

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