Turmeric Coconut Rice

Only vaguely oven-related, But food is a good thing, right?
We have a rice cooker, which does make life easier. And also splits this into cooking time and prep time.
I found this yesterday, falling down the rabbit hole of clicking related links til something looks too good to leave. And by chance, I actually had everything for it. I've been hoarding coconut flakes with vague intentions of macaroons at some point. And they will probably still happen, I end up with a lot of egg whites. 
So for attempt one, this all took a bit longer, I would say prep time was about 45 minutes.  
I found a package of mushrooms in the fridge that wanted to be used, so I sliced those up, fried them, and tossed half of them into the pot. That wasn't in the recipe, but it seemed like a good idea. They added texture and a little extra flavor, so they actually worked out nicely. I didn't have any onions around, so I used a clove of garlic instead. Not the same thing, no, but as substitutions go, works pretty consistently. (I also have a friend who does not get along with onions, so we have been experimenting a little with this).
Then I forgot the coconut when I fried the spices, so I dumped it in a separate pan and toasted in there instead, which may not be exactly what I was supposed  to do, it was just supposed to be fried along with the spices, but once again - seemed like a good idea at the time. The toasted coconut flakes seemed more fragrant, and added a little bit more texture to the final product, so I think I might keep doing it this way. If you hate mushrooms, however, feel free to leave them out. It'll be faster that way, too.
Today, I had the forethought to toast the coconut first, in the same pan I used for the spices later, which led to a little less cleanup. I always enjoy less cleanup. I also had leftover mushrooms from yesterday, so I did not have to slice and fry those up too. So my prep time was about 10 minutes. Which was great, I had other things to do and places to be. Cook time was about 25-30 minutes. But with a rice cooker, those are minutes I didn't have to pay any attention to. Still had to wait, of course. 

The original recipe does not use a rice cooker. So, I guessed. (It also uses brown basmati rice- so I lied, I was obviously a few ingredients short, but we did have jasmine rice. So I used that instead. I'm not sure what that means, when I am missing a decent chunk of the ingredients I still thing "fantastic, I have everything I need!" Maybe I am just getting more comfortable with the idea that it could go horribly wrong.). In our rice cooker, two cups of rice turns into three and a half cups of rice-cooker cups. Since that is an an awkward amount, I filled up to four cups. As for the liquid, I started with one cup of water, the full amount of coconut milk, and poured that into the rice cooker bowl as you usually would, then filled up to the four cup line (the way you usually would) with water - and then added the coconut and mushrooms, I was worried that the volume would be off otherwise. That may have been excessive, but I do think it worked better than my attempt to eyeball it today, dumping the coconut and mushrooms in earlier - but that was still pretty good, I just went a little over the line in an attempt to compensate. 

Looked fun, but made adding water more of a guessing game.

So, in an effort at honesty, this could take you an hour and a half start to finish, but less than an hour if you happen to have a few pre-fried mushrooms sitting around. Which is not that hard to do - just slice and fry them all when you get a box. You may not use them all at once, but they are great "leftovers" to put in an omelette, or add some cream to for a nice Jaegersauce. I've put them in bread dough, to rather enthusiastic response to the final product.  Or put  them in your rice cooker with coconut and turmeric.

Turmeric Coconut Rice

If you do not have extra fried mushrooms sitting around, it's time to create some leftovers: 

Slice thinly and fry over high heat (with a few teaspoons of oil, butter, or both)

12 ounces of mushrooms (half of a 24-ounce pack - or one of the smaller 10-ounce ones - or, just fry them all if you have a pan large enough. Leftovers, you know.)

The mushrooms will suddenly release a lot of water, keep frying til that is all gone, and then keep going for a while.. Fry them til they squeak and a little past that, the bottom of the pan starts getting a little coated and the mushrooms have a bit of a sear. So, fry until at least some of the mushrooms start looking golden brown? This will take a decent bit of stirring so they don't burn. We don't want burned. We DO want to get pretty close, but not quite there. I usually stir, pat them around evenly in the pan, and once they are nicely spread out, stir again, and keep going that way. Seems to work. 
The stuff on the bottom of the pan is a bonus that we can use for extra flavor. You may not even miss that onion!

Once there, turn off the heat and move the mushrooms to a bowl. 

Not this bowl though, not yet. But it all will end up in there.

Measure out and rinse, pour into your rice cooker bowl:
 2 cups rice ( or about 4 cups in rice-cooker cups)

Chop finely
1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Measure out:
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Re-heat the pan (medium heat should do for this), add a teaspoon of butter or oil, and fry the spices, the ginger and garlic together for about two minutes.

Add, carefully (this could steam a bit): 
1 cup hot water (cold water will do, but on a hot pan that can cause some denting.)

Stir til any lumps are dissolved . Scrape the pan well, those bits stuck to the bottom are full of nice flavor that can go in your rice. Also, it means less cleanup.

Now add:
1 1/2 cup coconut milk

Stir til any lumps are mixed in. 

Coconut milk plus fridge time = will be lumpy at first. 

Add the liquid to the rice and see how close that gets you to the 4-cup mark. Add more water to get there if needed.

The coconut!
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
in a dry pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally with a heatproof spatula, until the coconut flakes are toasted and fragrant.  Dump into the rice cooker.

Add about half your mushrooms, keep the rest for something else. Like more rice, tomorrow.
Stir the mixture in the rice cooker to get a little coconut and mushroom everywhere, then close the rice cooker and let it do its thing. Don't open it until it's done and no longer steaming. 
Fluff the rice, and top with cashews. 

While the rice is cooking, toast some cashews (maybe 1/2 cup) in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. I actually just toasted a whole pound of raw cashew pieces. Because that means less effort later. But you will not actually use them all, so if you have other uses for raw cashews, no need to toast all of them.
Of course, if you happen to have toasted cashews around, no need to toast anything. Sit back, enjoy your tea, and look forward to dinner.

The second day!

We still have mushrooms in the fridge, and toasted cashews on the counter.

So now all we need is:

Measure out and rinse in your rice cooker bowl:
2 cups rice (about 4 cups in rice cooker cups)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
in a dry pan, til medium-brown and fragrant. Set aside.

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Measure out:
2 teaspoons  ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Fry the garlic, ginger and spices with a teaspoon of oil or butter in the same pan as before over medium heat for about two minutes.

1 cup hot water

Stir until any lumps are gone.

1 1/2 cups  coconut milk

Stir until any lumps are gone.

Pour the liquid into the rice, and add water as needed to get to the 4-cup mark. Add your toasted coconut and leftover mushrooms, and stir til they are evenly distributed. 
Turn on your rice cooker, let it cook, wait for it to stop steaming completely, fluff the rice, top each serving with toasted cashews if you like, and enjoy!


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