Recently I’ve been playing with some of the recipes from the week-long cooking school in Bali. This red rice dish mimics the spices and leaves used in Balinese cuisine and serves the rice with coconut milk, mango puree, toasted coconut and roasted slices of lime. However, you can top the rice with any number of things – dried mango or other dried fruits, diced rockmelon, ripe papaya for example.
Just a note about the rice – this is Balinese, Indonesian or Thai style red rice, not the red rice of Sri Lanka or Kerala. These rices might also make a great dish but I have not tried them in this way. Suitable rice can be found here in Australia in red packets and called Forbidden Rice. The Black Forbidden Rice might also be suitable, and dramatic, to use.
Balinese Style Sweet Red Rice with Sweet Spices and Coconut Milk
this makes a lot and you might like to halve it if only feeding a few or serving small portions – It should freeze well before adding the coconut milk.
250g Balinese, Indonesian or Thai red rice or Forbidden Red Rice (available in Supermarkets)
0.75 l water
3 pandan leaves
2 clove or cardamom leaves, if available (if not, add a couple of cloves, 1 star anise and 2 green cardamom pods)
2.5 stalks lemongrass
3 mekrut lime leaves (kaffir lime leaves)
2 x 5cm sticks cinnamon
1.5 cm piece ginger, grated
150 – 200ml coconut milk
1 – 2 Tblspn jaggery, palm sugar or brown sugar
good squeeze lemon juice
toasted coconut, dried mango, mango puree, lemon balm leaves, to garnish, optional
Cook the rice with the other ingredients according to directions on the packet. (Generally it requires 1.5 cups water to 1 cup rice; bring to the boil on the stovetop, cover and simmer on low for 15 – 20 minutes; remove from heat and allow to sit without removing the cover for another 10 mins.)
Serve the rice mixed with coconut milk, palm sugar, lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt. Garnish with coconut, mango and/or lemon balm.
Dried pineapple, mango puree and rock melon puree, or diced tropical fruits are also excellent additions.