Lime Rice: Instant Pot & Stove top editions

Lime rice is a great side dish for any Mexican styled dinner. We eat it a lot at our house, plus I’ve used it in some rice based casseroles.

I’ve included cooking instructions for both the Instant Pot, seeing as they are everywhere these days and a stove top edition for those of you who haven’t jumped onto the IP bandwagon. The stove top edition is done in the Central Asian style of cooking rice — lots of water and drained after cooking. If you prefer to use another method, have at it. Most of the flavouring agents are added to the already cooked rice, so it makes no difference.

“1789” by miikkahoo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

Lime Rice: Stove top edition

Course: Side Dishes

Cuisine: Mexican

Main Ingredient: Rice

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 25 min

Yield: Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice or long-grain white rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or juice from one fresh lime
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or juice from half fresh lemon
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro optional

Directions

  1. Wash the basmati rice in a couple of changes of water to remove much of the excess surface starch. There is no need to do this if you are using parboiled or converted (Uncle Ben’s type) rice.
  2. Using a large pot, bring 8 cups or so of water to a boil. Add rice, salt, and the bay leaf. Stir and allow it to return to a boil. Cook uncovered for 12 minutes or until the rice is tender to the taste. It should be soft to the teeth but not mushy.
  3. Remove bay leaf. Strain the rice in a mesh strainer and rinse with hot water. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add lime zest and juice, lemon juice, and cilantro (if using). Salt to taste.
  5. Mix well and serve.

Instant pot edition to follow

Thanks for reading. Keep cooking; we’ll talk later


Plov: The Instant Pot Edition

The inspiration for this column came from an article in the Guardian that was written a couple of years ago. It reminded me how much I love all these rice dishes from the region, whether its origins are Iraq, Iran, or other parts of Central Asia.

I am convinced that there are as many recipes for Plov, a meat-vegetable-rice one-dish deliciousness, as there are Uzbeki grandmothers. It’s all part of a great regional rice tradition that fits into the umbrella term of pilaf or pilau.

Sheep farming is an important part of this nation’s agricultural tradition and so plov is usually made with lamb or mutton. Chicken and beef are also used but to a lesser extent. Vegetarian versions are less common but not unknown. I’ve chosen to offer a vegetarian version this time but I’m sure there will be meat editions coming in the future. Also in the future, I will publish a stove-top version of this dish for those who don’t enjoy an Instant Pot in their kitchen.

Jeweled Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Basmati Rice or other long grained rice
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 2 – inch piece of ginger, grated or 2 tsps of dry ginger
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp salt , divided or to taste
  • 1 12 cup mixed dried fruits raisins, apricots, prunes, dates, currants etc
  • 1 head whole garlic head sliced in half horizontally
  • 2 12 cups hot water
  • 14 cup chopped nuts pistachios, almonds or pecans
  • 12 cup fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • parsley (or cilantro) to garnish

Directions

  1. Wash and soak the rice until the water runs clear. Allow it to soak for a couple of hours. Drain well.
  2. Finely chop the assorted dried fruits into equal-sized ‘bits’. Set aside
  3. Set the Instant Pot to saute mode. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pot and allow it to heat to “Hot”. Add onion and stir frequently until it is golden.
  4. Add ginger, coriander and 1 tsp of the salt. Allow it to continue cooking until aromatic.
  5. Cancel the saute function (off button) for the Instant Pot.
  6. Add the dried fruit bits on top. Mix the remaining 2 tsps of salt with the drained rice. Add the rice to the pot but DO NOT MIX. Smooth it with the back of a spoon.
  7. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke five to six holes in rice all the way through to the bottom of the pot.
  8. Press the cut garlic into the rice. Again, do not stir or mix.
  9. Slowly, being careful to not disturb the rice, pour the 2-1/2 cups of hot water into the cooking pot.It helps to pour the water over the back of a serving spoon to make its flow more gentle.
  10. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Set it for the “rice” cooking setting (approximately 12 minutes or if you prefer a manual setting, cook for 8 minutes on high pressure.
  11. Allow the cooker to depressurize for 10 minutes before opening.
  12. After opening, remove the garlic head halves and gently mix the contents of the pot. If you’re a fan of roast garlic, feel free to squeeze the cloves back into the dish.
  13. Traditionally, this dish is served on a large serving platter. Once the rice/vegetable mixture has been plated, sprinkle the top of the dish with the “jewels” — chopped parsley, chopped cilantro if you prefer, chopped nuts, and the pomegranate seeds.