What you need to know:
- Do it at home. It is a new year and time to try out the Thai fried rice served with Belgian endive, fruit and nut salad.
In Uganda when we think of a rice meal that incorporates meat or chicken, the first thing that comes to mind is goat or chicken pilao. For those of you who are adventurous and creative, I recommend this hot and spicy dish that is easy to prepare and makes a great meal in itself.
Feel free to experiment with goat meat if you so wish though I would advise that you first boil it and make sure that it is thoroughly cooked and tender prior to adding it to the rice.
THAI FRIED RICE
l ¼ kg Basmati rice though one would normally use jasmine rice which I doubt you can obtain in town
l 4 tbsp vegetable oil
l 1 medium onion, chopped
l 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes
l 300g skinless and boneless chicken breasts cut into small cubes
l 2 garlic cloves, crushed
l 1 knob ginger, crushed
l 1 tbsp mild curry paste
l ½ tsp paprika
l ½ tsp ground paprika
l 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
l 2 eggs beaten
l Salt and ground black pepper and fried basil leaves to garnish.
1. Put the rice in a sieve and wash well under cold running water and then put it in heavy bottomed pan and add 1.42 litres of boiling water. Return to a boil and then gently simmer, leaving the pan uncovered for about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and spread the grains on a tray and set aside to cool.
2. Heat a wok until hot and add 2 tbsp of the oil and swirl it around. Add the onions and red pepper and stir fry for 1 minute.
3. Add the chicken and garlic (or goat and if using the latter cut into bite size pieces) curry paste and spices and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to medium then add the cooked rice, fish sauce and seasoning and stir fry fir a few more minute until the rice is very hot.
5. Make a well in the center of the rice and add the remaining oil. When hot add the beaten eggs and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until lightly set and then stir into the rice.
6. Sprinkle over the fried basil leaves, taste and correct seasoning and serve at once.
Belgian endive, fruit and nut salad
Mildly bitter endive is wonderful with sweet fruit and is especially delicious when complimented with a creamy curry sauce. In the event that you cannot find curly endive then I suggest any of the following; 1 cup of arugula, or radicchio, watercress or chicory leaves.
3 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp mild curry paste
6 tbsp light cream
1 small iceberg lettuce
2 heads of Belgian endive or substitutes as mentioned above
½ cup cashew nuts
1 ½ cups flaked coconut
2 red apples
½ cup currants
1. Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, curry paste and light cream in a small bowl and cover and chill until required
2. Tear the iceberg lettuce into small pieces and put into a salad bowl.
3. Cut the root end from each head of Belgian endive and discard. Slice the endive or substitute and add it to the salad bowl.
4. Preheat the broiler and toast the cashews for a couple of minutes until they are nicely golden. Turn into a bowl and set aside. Spread out the coconut flakes on a baking sheet and grill for a minute or so.
5. Quarter the apples and cut the cores and then slice them before adding them to the lettuce with cashews, flaked coconut and currants. Incidentally, carefully watch the coconut and cashews when they are under the grill; they brown very quickly.
6. Spoon the dressing over the salad and toss lightly and taste and correct seasoning before serving.