Once a year, I organise a couple of charity cookery classes & one of the things we try and do is come up with new creations for the event. This is one of mine, it’s a rich and creamy rice dish, a cross between the Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) and the Malay Nasi Lemak. In Arroz Verde, the colour is achieved by pureeing fresh coriander leaves and green capsicum, here, coriander leaves and green Thai curry paste achieve that effect. You can always lighten the rice by diluting the amount of coconut milk used with water, especially if you’re serving it with coconut based curries. Needless to say, the spiciness can be controlled by the amount of paste used.
A note on the coconut milk: In Thai cuisine, the thick, creamy “head” of the coconut milk is used to sauté spices at the start, much like using oil. As many of us in the West have no choice but to use canned coconut milk, the thick part of the milk will be right at the top, so don’t shake the can before opening it when cooking Thai.
Lemongrass – always use only the bottom half. Click on the link for more info.
Green Thai Curry Paste – click for homemade recipe, or use a good quality shop bought one. You can vary the amount you use, using more will result in a spicier rice.
I love to serve this on a plate lined with banana leaves. If not serving immediately, line a deep dish all around with banana leaves, pile the green rice in, cover with another layer of leave and place a lid/plate over. The hot rice will absorb the flavour of the leaves and the resulting dish is like nothing you’ve had before!
This recipe can be eaten with so many dishes, including the Thai Basil Chicken: