My love affair with South East Asian cuisine dates back to summer 2003; the day I had my very first taste of the almighty Malaysian Rendang Curry. Remember that scene in Ratatouille when Remy was trying to enhance his brother's palette by using music and fireworks to explain food? Well mine was just like that! Only instead of Remy, it was a fussy Malay chef going "Makan! Makan! You're going to love it!"
Since then Malaysian, Indonesian and sometimes Thai food have cemented a place in my heart and most importantly in my diet. I hardly go a week without my favourite recipes and if i had my way, i'll totally open a Malay style restaurant in Abuja. Wouldn't that be amazing? It'll be an earthy style, dimly lit space and we'd serve proper Malay curries, Exotic recipes from Ipoh and Melacca. And even Pasar Malam style street food, satays and all the different type of Roti! My fave is Roti Tissue and I have promised myself that one day, I, UmmiBee of Daura, will master the art of Roti Tissue making.
I came up with this recipe when i was craving Nasi Lemak so badly and I wanted something a bit more exciting and filling... so why not take it to the next level? Used Basmati rice and I incorporated the fried chicken into the rice instead of serving separately... In the absence of ikan bilis (fried anchovies) i made fish flakes. Though deep down in my heart, I know nothing can ever replace ikan bilis... *sigh*
Enjoy this straight forward and spicy coconut rice recipe :)
Coconut Rice with Chicken and fish flakes
What goes in!
2 cups of basmati rice
250ml coconut milk
½ kg uncooked chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
1 chilli (atarugu), chopped
½ tsp of cumin
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup of oil
1 tablespoon crayfish, ground
½ tsp thyme or Rosemary
3 cubes maggi seasoning
Salt and pepper
Fish Flakes (optional)
3 small tilapia fish, beheaded, cleaned
1 cube maggi seasoning
½ tsp chilli powder
A pinch of salt
Here’s how it goes!
❤ Wash the basmati rice and soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
❤ Place the chicken, maggi seasoning, thyme and some salt into a pot. Add half a litre of water and boil for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and reserve the stock.
❤ Separately, boil the fish in a pot of 250ml water with the salt and one maggi cube for 10 minutes. Remove and leave the fish to cool.
❤ Heat oil in a large pot and fry the pieces of chicken until browned. Remove the chicken and set aside.
❤ Add the onions to the oil and stir for abut 3 minutes. Add in the garlic, chilli, cumin and crayfish and stir fry for two minutes.
❤ Strain the rice and add it to the pot. Stir fry for 3 minutes until the kitchen is filled with fragrance.
❤ Add the coconut milk to the pot. Stir and cover for 2 minutes.
❤ Then add the fried chicken and the chicken stock to the pot and cover. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Check on it every 5 minutes until the basmati rice is well cooked (in my experience this usually takes 8 – 15 minutes max!). If the water gets used up before the rice is cooked, feel free to add more water, half a cup at a time.
❤ Meanwhile, remove all the bones from the fish and shred into tiny pieces with a fork. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil to a frying pan. When it’s hot enough, add the fish and season with the chilli powder and salt. Stir until it is dry and crispy.
❤ Serve the rice and chicken warm and sprinkle the fish flakes generously on each plate. You’re done! Bon appetit.