My food memory led me to a Bhutanese pineapple rice recipe in Appetite for Reduction as I've read many positive reviews of it around the blogosphere. I was able to track the red rice down in a local Indian spice shop, it has a texture that is similar to brown rice although the cooking time is slightly less. The man isn't a fan of brown rice at all so I was concerned he wouldn't like this and the inclusion of pineapple definitely wasn't going to win him over. I'm not particularly fond of fruit in savoury meals either and replaced the pineapple with some broccoli instead. After the red rice was cooked, it was fried with onion, garlic, ginger, Thai red curry paste, soy sauce, agave and coriander. An extra dash of curry paste and soy sauce was added after an initial taste test to give it some extra heat and flavour.
To round out the meal, I veganised a recipe originally made with chicken called Jasha Maroo. It was frustrating to find exactly the same recipe duplicated on several websites as the method was unclear and didn't state when to add some of the ingredients that were listed. I resorted to cooking it in the manner that seemed most logical to me, frying the onion first followed by the garlic, ginger and chilli and then adding the rest of the ingredients. The tofu I used in this dish was a new variety from the supermarket labelled as medium firm, it actually resembled silken tofu more than firm tofu so I was extremely careful during the cooking process.
This was a fantastic dinner, the tofu dish had a perfect amount of heat for us and it was an excellent partner for the red rice. I was happy with my decision to season the tofu with "chicken" stock rather than salt as it provided an extra depth of flavour. This was also a speedy meal which gave it extra bonus marks. I was very pleased that the man enjoyed it, particularly the rice dish and delighted when he kept going back for more! As a result of this successful meal, red rice may become my brown rice substitute from now on.
Jasha Maroo (Adapted from Asiarecipe)
300g medium firm or firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into pea sized cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, sliced into rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2cm piece ginger, minced
2 green thai chillies, thinly sliced (use 1 chilli for a milder version)
1 tomato, diced
1 teaspoon vegan "chicken" stock powder
½ cup water
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies a fry for a minute then gently stir through the tofu, tomato, "chicken" stock powder and water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
Did you know?
Bhutan was the first country to measure the national index of happiness which later became an accepted worldwide index. Bhutan's third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, made a fleeting remark in a speech that was taken seriously by the Bhutanese. According to Buddhist beliefs, happiness is something that one needs to strive for and the country's leading thinkers set about to find a way to quantify it. The index of happiness is measured on four areas: sustainable development, cultural values, natural environment, and good governance.