Dear friends, I have discovered my favorite side dish. And when I say favorite, I am referring to what I am going to be eating by itself for the next couple of weeks. In my opinion, nothing but a bit of mango chutney is needed in combination with this wonderful olive oil fried rice – it’s flavorful, chewy, has some crunch to it, a nice and sour lemon freshness to it, and the greatest yellow sunshine color that you’ve ever seen.
I have given this side a very cheesy name: Yellow Sunshine Side. I know, keep rolling your eyes at me, but in dire times, you need to get your kicks from making up incredibly over-the-top cheesy names for your dishes. In dire times – sounds very dramatic, and is also very exaggerated. But, I’m up for my exams in two weeks and feel the panic-wheels in my head going a little crazy, so cut me some slack.
Back to this wonderful dish: lemon cashew fried rice. You can combine it with any sauce, curry, stew, whatever. Or, if you’re like me, you can eat it plain with some chutney. Homemade mango-chutney, that is. My lovely boyfriend made some this week, and it’s just heavenly…perhaps I’ll post the recipe some other time, but today is all about the rice!
I originally made this dish as a side for some lamb-stew, which in turn was part of a three course dinner my boyfriend and I prepared for a friend of ours as a birthday present. For starters, we had some papadums with chutney and hot chili salsa (both homemade), lamb-curry and lemon cashew fried rice as a main course, and some vegan coconut-lime icecream with baked banans for dessert. I took pictures of the starter and main, however the coconut icecream didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it to (I really gotta get an icecream maker, I am so sick of freezing icecream mixtures and having them turn out badly), so I didn’t take one. The starter was pretty, though:
Have you ever made papadums? They are so incredibly simple, can be bought dried and simply have to be fried in some olive oil. I love watching them “roll up” as they soak up the heat and oil.
As for the main course, voilá:
Anyways, getting back to the rice and rice alone. Let’s look at the ingredients:
Yellow Sunshine Side: Lemon Cashew Fried Rice
- 2 cups of rice (non-cooked)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. kurkuma
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 5 Tbs. cashews, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- some more salt, to taste
1. Cook the rice according to these instructions: Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil, and then pour in the rice. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the rice is “al dente”, then pour through a sieve to get rid of excess water.
2. In a larger pot or pan, heat the olive oil and roast the chopped cashews, kurkuma, and mustard seeds. When the cashews start browning, stir in the rice and turn down the heat. The rice will start sizzling slightly – you want this to happen, just make sure you keep stirring it.
3. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then pour the juice from 1 lemon into the pot, and maybe add a bit of salt, to taste. Serve with anything you like!
This is such a simple dish, and it’s so perfect with any “curry” dish. Or chutney, if you’re going for something very simplistic. Let me know how you like this sunshiney dish!