Saturday, 15 November 2008

GYO Spiced yoghurt rice with nectarines and mint

After a couple of nights eating our rogan josh curry with roti, I was concerned we didn’t have enough left for a full meal and decided to make an interesting rice dish to serve with it.

Usually I just boil up the rice and dump dinner on top of it. But having been inspired by many of Lisa’s rice dishes, I made a quick search of her blog for ideas. I was spoilt for choice. One of the first dishes to catch my eye was the Chilled Mango and Yoghurt Rice. I am not a lover of mangos (blame too much bland orange and mango juice as a child!) but nectarines are just coming into season here so I had quite a few which I thought I could substitute for mango. I also had a tub of yoghurt to use up.

Lisa used fresh coriander (cilantro) and dried mint. Not being a fresh coriander lover, I wanted to use fresh mint instead. We have some mint in the garden which I decided to use. I am still a novice at growing herbs (or anything else for that matter) in the garden and don’t know when is the right time to pick herbs and when I should just let them grow. I wish I had so many herbs that you wouldn't even notice if I took a handful but you do notice when I raid our small pots. However, our mint has been flourishing and I was concerned that if I didn’t use it, the sun and insects would take it from me. So I grabbed a handful for the rice dish. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

I didn’t chill this dish to serve on the first night but by the time I had let the rice dry for 20 minutes and added the yoghurt, it was room temperature. It was pleasingly creamy and spicy with chunks of nectarine and the refreshing taste of mint. I served it for another two nights with falafels, broccoli and tomato. It was best on the first night. When it had been in the fridge overnight it was still quite tasty but the rice wasn’t quite as soft.

E commented approvingly that it would be good for a summer night on the first night. But the next couple of nights he heated it in the microwave a little. It did remind me a little of a rice salad but the spices made it a fine accompaniment to a curry as well as to the falafels. Now I am keen to try more of Lisa’s rice dishes.

Because I have used mint from our garden, I am sending this to Ning of Heart and Health who is hosting this fortnight’s Grow Your Own which is coordinated by Andrea’s Recipes. This event is for bloggers to share recipes using homegrown produce from their own gardens or those of friends and families.

Spiced Yoghurt Rice with Nectarines and Mint
(adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen)
Serves 6 as a side

1 cup uncooked basmati rice
200ml unsweetened natural yogurt
2 small nectarines, chopped
1 small handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
Generous grinding of black pepper
Shake of cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
½-1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced

Cook rice as directed on packet and rinse under cold water when drained (see Lisa’s recipe if you want to cook using the absorption method which is probably preferable but I didn’t do). Set rice aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Combine the rice in a large mixing (or serving) bowl with yogurt, nectarines, mint, salt, pepper and cayenne. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or cayenne as desired.

Heat the ghee or olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and ginger and fry until the mustard seeds turn gray and start to splutter. Pour over the rice and gently mix. Serve at room temperature.

On the stereo:
Enchanted Islands: Martin Denny


  1. We, as Asians eat a lot of rice everyday, but I have never made nor tasted yoghurt rice. This is very very interesting! Thanks for sharing with Grow Your Own! :)

  2. Thanks Ning - I had never seen a recipe like this before either which was why I was curious to make it - but would highly recommend it!

  3. I'm always looking for recipes that require me cutting back our invading mint. This looks excellent.

  4. That looks totally awesome Johanna! I always do stuff like that - not having enough leftovers for a full meal making something creative to go along side. I love Lisa's blog and anything I have made from it has been awesome!

  5. Sounds like a beautiful combination of ingredients. If only I'd thought about this recipe for all that mint we had over the summer. Don't worry about picking it too early. . . it always comes back!

  6. What an interesting twist on my recipe. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Johanna!

  7. Thanks Tanna - when I cook a dish like this I wish I had a forest of mint

    thanks Jenn - it is great when leftovers inspire cooking isn't it!

    thanks Ricki - I was hopeful that the mint would come back - it did last year I think and I was amazed it has come back after the winter - but always feel nervous it is the last of my herb plant when I pick a good handful!

    thanks Lisa - thanks for such a great recipe - had made me feel I should really try some more interesting rice dishes!

  8. I like the idea of the yogurt and fruit with the rice. It's nice to know it's such a versatile recipe as well and I imagine it went really well with felafel (but then I think anything goes with felafel!)

  9. I like creamy rice, and adding the yogurt and fresh herbs sounds very tasty. Your version of Lisa's dish looks excellent!

  10. thanks Lysy - I did wonder if I was mixing my continents with a middle eastern falafel and an Indian-style spice but they did taste great together

    thanks andrea - yes, there is something comforting about creamy rice!


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