rice dishes from around the world

How to cook basmati rice

This recipe uses only 4 ingredients, I even cook my own rice when getting a takeaway instead of spending extra money on a side of rice, I can cook mine while I wait! There is an art to cooking rice, but once you get the hack, its so easy and you will never get it wrong ever again.


  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp of cooking oil
  • basmati white rice
  • Boiling water


  • Get a saucepan with a lid and add in how much rice you would normally for one, or a family etc. I use around 3 cups of rice for 2 adults and 2 young children.
  • Boil the kettle around half full.
  • Add in 2-3 Tablespoons of cooking oil, I use olive oil.
  • Stir into the rice and turn on a medium heat, do not stop stirring or it can burn at this point.
  • Add in your large pinch of salt, keep stirring until you can see your rice is coated with a little oil and salt.
  • Stop stirring and add in your boiling hot water, just about cover the rice. Do not add less!
  • Don’t stir at all after the water is added (this is the hack) and cover with a lid on a medium/low heat. It should take around 10 minutes, if you notice the rice loses water quickly and isn’t cooked enough just add a little more water and don’t stir.
  • After 10 minutes you will have the perfect boiled rice. It really is one of the most easiest things once you know how!

    Jamaican rice and peas recipe

    rice and beans

    Jamaican Rice and peas is not made with peas traditionally; it is made with pigeon peas but is more commonly known to be made with kidney beans. This dish can be eaten as part of a healthy balanced diet in terms of health. The added chilli is optional, but missing out on the all-purpose seasoning would dramatically change the flavour. This recipe serves 4 people. 


    • Basmati rice (500g)
    • Dried red kidney beans (175g)
    • Creamed coconut (200g)
    • Salt (3 tsp)
    • Knob of butter
    • Scotch bonnet chilli (1)
    • Spring onion (Green only) - (1)
    • Fresh thyme (1 sprig)
    • Garlic clove (1)
    • All purpose seasoning (1 tsp)


    Start by rinsing the beans and then place them in a large bowl and cover with 1 litre of cold water and leave to soak overnight. (If you have tinned kidney beans on hand you can skip this step.)

    Drain the soaking water into a large sauce pan and bring it to the boil and then rinse the beans in cold running water and throw away any damaged beans. Add the beans to the boiling water, cover the saucepan with a lid and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 40 minutes or until the beans are soft. 

    Meanwhile, mix 2 litres of hot water with the creamed coconut then add to the pan of beans along with the salt, butter, chilli spring onion, thyme, garlic, all purpose seasoning and boil for 15-20 minutes. 

    Rinse the rice twice under cold water and drain, then add to the pan. Make sure the liquid is at least 1 inch above the level of rice. Cook for 25 minutes on a gently heat until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Do not lift the lid during cooking because the rice will lose its moisture. When cooked put clingfilm over the top to seal and cover with a lid until your ready to serve. 

    Ven Pongal Khara Recipe

    indian rice dish

    Every year there is a South Indian festival named after Pongal. To mark the celebration, the Pongal is prepared. Firstly it is offered to the gods and goddesses, and then it is provided to cows and finally the family.


    • Rice (1/2 cup)
    • Moong dal (1/2 cup)
    • Water (3 cups)
    • Salt (1/4 tsp)
    • Ghee (2 tbsps)
    • Cashew nuts (handful)
    • Cumin / Jeera seeds (1/2 tsp)
    • Black pepper (1/2 tsp)
    • Freshly grated ginger (1 tsp)
    • Curry leaves (7)
    • Hing (pinch)
    • Turmeric (pinch)
    • Green chilli (optional)


    Heat a large saucepan and dry roast the moong dal on a low flame until it becomes aromatic. Stir often to prevent it from burning, and when you begin to smell the dal turn it off. Make sure that it does not brown (this usually takes around 5 minutes.

    Next, you will want to add the rice to the same saucepan with the dal, wash them both a few times, drain the water, add the 3 cups of water, and add the salt.

    If you are cooking your Pongal in a pressure cooker, you will want to place a lid on and cook for 2-3 whistles on a low to medium flame. If you are cooking it in a saucepan, you will need to cook until soft, adding more water if it is required.

    When it is cooked, the rice and dal should be soft and mushy. If the Pongal is too thick, you can add a little more water and cook for another few minutes. Spoon out a tiny bit of the rice and lentil and adjust the seasoning if needed and then turn the heat off.

    In a frying pan, heat ghee or, if you'd like, switch that out for your preferred cooking oil. Split open about one handful of cashew nuts and fry them until golden brown. Then remove them and set them aside. They will be used for garnishing the dish at the end.

    In the same pan, add the cumin seeds, crushed black pepper, curry leaves, ginger paste, and one green chill if you like some heat. When the curry leaves go crispy and you have a great aroma, you can add the hing. Mix in the rice and dal, and feel free to remove some fried curry leaves for the garnish. Simmer for one minute and cover until served. Then serve with the cashews and fried curry leaves on top.

     Pulao rice recipe

    This delicious yellow spiced pulao rice recipe serves four people, it is good with most Indian curries and is easy to follow. There are many different variations of Pulao rice, one of them is called Navrattan rice which is a special rice dish that is considered to be food for the emperors due to its decorative look.


    • Basmati rice (2 cups)
    • Ghee or vegetable oil (2 tsp)
    • Saffron strands (1/4 tsp)
    • Salt 
    • Milk (2 tbsp optional)
    • Red food colouring powder (pinch - optional)

    Spices 1 

    • Whole Green cardamoms (2)
    • Whole cloves (2)
    • Cinnamon / Cassia bark (5cm)

    Spices 2 

    • Yellow food colouring powder (1/2 tsp - optional)
    • Desiccated coconut (2 tsp)
    • Ground almonds (2 tsp)


    Prepare and boil your rice. Heat ghee in a large pan, add spices one and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add three-quarters of the rice, spices two and salt to taste. Warm the milk and stand the saffron for 10 minutes, stir well and add to the rice with spices 2. Before serving, mix the remaining quarter of rice, and you’ll get a nice yellow-white mixture. 

    Nimbu lemon rice 

    lemon rice

    Nimbu lemon rice is also known as madras rice or in kannada it is known as Chitranna or nimmakaya pulihora. The rice dish is crunchy, flavourful and tangy. It is simple to make and goes well with all Indian curries.


    • Basmati rice (2 cups)
    • Ghee (2 tbsp)
    • Cashew nuts skins removed and chopped (2 tbsp)
    • Desiccated coconut (1 tbsp)
    • Salt 
    • Juice of 1 lemon 
    • Chopped fresh coriander (1 tbsp)


    • Mustard seeds (1 tsp)
    • Curry leaves (1 tbsp)
    • Turmeric (1/2 tsp)

    Boil the rice how you would generally do it. Heat the ghee and fry mustard seeds until they pop. Add the cashew nuts and curry leaves. After a minute, add your cooked rice and turmeric. Mix well and fry a little when it's hot sprinkle the coconut, salt and lemon juice serve straight away with coriander garnish.

    Mackerel rice 

    mackerel rice

    This mackerel rice is banging. Not only that it's simple to make and is a quick way to satisfy your cravings for good food and an easy lunch. Struggle no more, trying to figure out what to have and always have mackerel rice as your backup plan. If your feeling fishy about mackerel, then swap it out for a meat or vegetable that you do like. Haven't tried fishy rice? Don't write it off! This recipe serves one so feel free to double up or quadruple. 


    • Olive Oil (Drizzle)
    • White Basmati Rice (1/2 cup)
    • Vegetable Stock (400ml)
    • Mackerel Fillets in Tomato Sauce (200g)
    • Dried Oregano (Pinch) 
    • Sea salt and black pepper


    • Start by drizzling a little olive oil into a large saucepan, let it heat up and add the rice. Continually, mix for a couple of minutes until the rice becomes slightly transparent. Turn the heat down and then prepare your stock. 
    • In a jug combine 400ml of water with a stock cube and mix to dissolve. Then open up your tin of mackerel and add it to the rice. 
    • Break up the fish with the back of a wooden spoon, add the dried oregano, a pinch of salt and black pepper then add in your stock. Give it one last mix then simmer. Once the water has evaporated the rice is ready to eat. Enjoy! Also feel free to experiment adding other ingredients that you like, I have tried this recipe with Tomato Ketchup which adds a slight tang to the dish, but also I have tried it with chilli, vinegar and garlic puree. I wish I could try your version. 

      Lebanese lentil rice

      lentil rice

      This rice dish originates in Lebanon and we discovered it when we invited our friend around for a barbecue. Everyone that came had to bring one dish and this was what she brought. Ilham is a chef that works in Lebanese restaurants and this is a dish that she adjusted to her own taste. When I first tried it, I had to get the recipe. It combines wonderful flavour with a simple way of cooking. This is honestly one of the best rice dishes I have tried to date. It serves four but feel free to double or adjust the recipe to your taste.


      • Mixed spice
      • Green lentils (1/2 cup)
      • Onion (1)
      • Basmati Rice (2 cups)
      • Vegetable oil
      • Salt and pepper to taste


      1. Soak green lentils in water overnight.
      2. Boil the soaked lentils until cooked, meanwhile boil the rice.
      3. When the lentils have cooked drain them well.
      4. Finely dice and onion and caramelise then add in the cooked lentils. Once your rice is cooked allow to cool slightly then add into the cooked lentil and onion add the mixed spice and season with salt and pepper to taste, for better results cook for longer adding more oil to get crispy aromatic rice.

      Is this lentil rice suitable for vegetarians/vegans?

      As this dish contains no meat or animal based ingredients it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

      How long do I have to soak the lentils?

      Lentils should be soaked for at least 12 hours, we recommend soaking them overnight as they will be ready to cook in the morning.

      What is the total cooking time?

      Less than one hour (next time we cook this dish we will time the total cooking).

      Is this lentil rice gluten free?

      Gluten comes from wheat and this recipe does not contain any wheat which makes it a great gluten free side dish.

      Can I use any rice?

      Basmati rice is superior in comparison to long or short grain rice due to its aromatic flavour. Also, basmati rice is less likely to become sticky. If you only have long grain rice it will be fine but do not use short grain rice as it has a tendency to become mushy.

      How to store lentil rice?

      We recommend making lentil rice fresh on the day and eating it all. Storing it in the fridge will only spoil the flavour and leftover rice can be dangerous.

      What oil is best for lentil rice?

      Our go to option for making lentil rice is vegetable oil simply because it does not add too much of a flavour. If you do not have vegetable oil, we would recommend opting for another flavourless oil like groundnut, a light sunflower oil, or a mild olive oil however, the flavour will slightly change.

      What should I serve with this rice dish?

      You could serve it with any type of meat, tagine, olives, vegetables, curry or salads such as tabbouleh.

      Garlic Prawn Risotto Recipe

       garlic prawn risotto

      Preparation time: less than 10 mins

      Cooking time: About 30 mins

      Serves: 4

      This is a simple, yet tasty dish. The Arborio rice helps make it super creamy and the wine adds a delicious tang that when paired with the tiger prawns, butter and garlic becomes ridiculously good! In Italy they do tend to use parmigiano cheese in most risotto dishes. Feel free to use it but just know that it won't be missed in this dish.


      • Chicken or vegetable stock (500ml)
      • Olive oil (3 tbsp)
      • Shallots (4)
      • Garlic cloves (3)
      • Arborio rice (2 cups)
      • White wine (½ cup)
      • Prawns (200g)
      • Butter (2 tbsp)
      • Salt and pepper (to taste)
      • Fresh herbs (Optional)


      • Get all your ingredients.
      • Prepare your chicken broth in a pan and bring to a low heat.
      • Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook raw prawns for a few minutes or until cooked.
      • Add shallots and garlic, stirring frequently, until onions become translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes; don't let them brown.
      • Stir in the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes longer until some grains begin to look translucent.
      • Add wine or 1/2 cup chicken broth; cook and stir until liquid is absorbed. Then add about 1/2 cup of simmering chicken broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed.
      • Then add more broth, about 1 cup, at a time and stir.
      • Cook for around 20-25 minutes. The rice should be tender, but firm in the centre; taste the rice to be sure that it is ready. When the rice is done, remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until melted, then serve.

        Delicious side dishes for this type of risotto

        • Pan seared scallops
        • Sautéed mushrooms
        • Fresh leaf salad

        How to make rice flour from leftover rice

        How to make rice flour from leftover rice

        Rice flour is a great versatile ingredient, in doughs it can give a crunchiness, it can be used to make noodles, pancakes, thicken stews, soups, but can also be used as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour to make cakes, and biscuits. It's used in many brands of healthier crisps. With that being said it can be a difficult ingredient to find in conventional shops. Luckily though, making rice flour is easy. Rice flour is soft and is used when making Akki Roti and many other Indian dishes. Rice flour can be used to make flatbread doughs, and batters.

        Rice type

        Whilst you can make rice flour from most white rice grains, short grain rice is the best. You should also avoid using basmati rice.

        Rice to flour process

        To make your own rice flour simply grind uncooked rice grains until it becomes a powder. You can grind it using traditional techniques with a grinding stone, but you can also use a mill or blender. It's also worth noting that if you don’t fancy making your own rice flour, you can buy rice flour online.


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