Tag: Rice

Legendary Dishes | Thalassiná Piláfi (seafood pilaf)

  • 750 ml water
  • 500 g long grain rice, washed, drained
  • 300 g squid, whole
  • 12 prawns, whole
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 100 g onion, chopped
  • 100 ml Retsina wine
  • 100 g tomato, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 40 small shrimp
  • 20 mussels, cooked
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • Saffron, very large pinch
  • Seasonings

Heat the water and blanch the squid for five minutes, drain, cool and cut into small pieces. Heat the oil in a large pot, add onions, stir for a couple of minutes, add squid and cook for two minutes. Add rice, cooking water, wine, lemon juice, saffron and seasonings, bring to the boil, remove from heat, cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add mussels, prawns, peppers and tomatoes, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes. Grill the prawns in their shells. Serve the pilaf garnished with the prawns.

INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS =  Lemons | Mussels | Olive Oil | Onions | Prawns | Retsina Wine | Shrimp | Squid




Legendary Dishes | Shirin Plov (sweet rice)


Increasingly popular around Europe as a vegan dish, with various nuts added, the original dried fruit rice dish known as shirin is a butter-rich, saffron-infused work of art. Served in Baku with fried meat, this sweet rice is also characterised by a qazmaq, the base. The qazmaq in shirin plov is made with egg and flour or with egg, rice and yoghurt. This produces a fluffy, buttery rice. In some versions the dried fruit is simmered in butter and water. We are using the soaking method to reconstitute the fruit. Chestnuts, cranberries, dates and plums feature in variations.

Pre-cook – 1

  • 3 litres water
  • 800 g basmati rice
  • Salt, pinch

Pre-cook – 2

  • 45 ml milk / water
  • 1 tsp saffron threads

Base (Qazmaq)

  • 150 g pre-cooked rice
  • Qazmaq
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 45 g yoghurt
  • 15 g butter / oil, for frying
  • 2 tsp saffron infusion (a few threads mixed with hot water)


  • 650 g pre-cooked rice
  • 250 g raisins, soaked in hot water
  • 250 g dried apricots, soaked in hot water, sliced
  • 200 g butter, melted

Soak the dried fruit in hot water for an hour. Soak saffron in hot milk or water for 30 minutes, Pour the water into a deep heavy-based saucepan, add salt and bring to the boil. When it reaches a rolling boil, add rice and cook over a medium heat, about ten minutes. Strain. Leave to cool. When the rice is cold, combine a sufficient amount with the yoghurt and egg to cover the base of the pan with a thick layer. Add a teaspoon of the saffron infusion to the qazmaq mixture. Combine fruit and rice. Grease the base of a heavy-based pot with butter or oil, spread with the qazmaq and fry over a low to medium heat for ten minutes. Spoon fruit-rice mixture in layers on top of the qazmaq, adding a tablespoon of the butter and a little of the saffron infusion to each layer until it is used up. Cover and leave to steam over a gradual heat for at 75 minutes.

See A Whole Different Bowl of Rice.




Legendary Dishes | Nasi Goreng (special fried rice)


One of the most iconic rice dishes on the planet, nasi goreng can be a simple bowl of fried rice with few ingredients or a cornucopia of flavours complimented by pieces of beef, chicken, prawns, squid and assorted vegetables among the rice. At its most basic it contains chillies, garlic, spring onions, seasonings and soy sauce, choice of fish and meat, plus omelette shreds, fried egg, cucumber pieces and tomatoes as a garnish. This is the all dancing, all singing version.

  • 500 g long grain rice, cooked
  • 300 g chicken breast, marinaded in 50 ml soy sauce and 150 ml water, cooked, chopped small
  • 250 g beef fillet, sliced thin
  • 200 g prawns, chopped into small pieces / small shrimp
  • 200 g squid body, blanched in hot water, sliced thin
  • 8 spring onions, sliced thin
  • 8 tbsp basa gede spice paste (below)
  • 120 g peas / green beans, cut small
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50 g button mushrooms
  • 45 g butter / 45 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed, chopped
  • 8 green chillies, sliced thin along length
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sweet soy sauce 
  • Salty soy sauce, splash
  • Green peppercorns, ground, pinch


  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 300 g shallots, sliced thin, fried to a crisp
  • 4 eggs, fried
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thick, quartered

Make an omelette with the egg seasoned with a pinch of green peppercorns, fold out onto a board or plate, roll up and cut into thin strips.

Fry spring onions and garlic in the butter or oil in a large wok. Add paste, fry for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms, chillies and peas. Lower heat.

Boil water, blanch the squid in the hot water, remove and leave to cool a little.

Fry beef in a separate small wok.

Cut squid into thin strips. Add a little oil to the beef wok, fry squid. Add to the large wok.

Fold the ingredients into each other, add rice. Cook until the rice is hot, add the shrimp. Stir in chilli sauce and oyster sauce. Add the beef and the chicken. Season with soy sauces.

Fold egg strips into the rice.

Serve, garnished with a fried egg per person, and with tomatoes and cucumbers.

Basa Gede BALI spice paste

Ideally the hard ingredients for this paste should be pounded with a pestle in a mortar until coarse, the shrimp paste and sugar added, and then loosened with the lime juice. This creates a thicker paste. This quantity is for a blended version, that can be stored for later use.

  • 240 g galangal root, chopped small
  • 180 g ginger root, chopped small
  • 150 g shallots, chopped small
  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 5 lemon grass stalks, chopped small
  • 125 g candle / cashew / macadamia / pecan nuts
  • 125 g garlic, chopped small
  • 125 g hot red chillies, chopped small
  • 125 g turmeric root, chopped small
  • 120 ml coconut oil / vegetable oil
  • 60 g palm sugar, pounded
  • 30 g green coriander stalks, chopped small
  • 30 g shrimp paste, pounded
  • 15 g black peppercorns
  • 15 g sesame seeds
  • 10 g nutmeg

Grind peppercorns, nutmeg and sesame seeds to the powder. Blend chillies, coriander, galangal, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, nuts, shallots and turmeric with the lime juice and 90 ml of oil. Add shrimp paste, sugar and ground spices, blend several times until smooth. Fry for three minutes in remaining oil. When cool store in sterlised jars.

INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS = Chillies |Galangal | Green Coriander Leaves | Green Peppercorns | Lemon Grass | Palm Sugar | Prawns |Rice |  Shallots (red onions) | Shrimp Paste | Squid | Sweet Soy Sauce | Turmeric Root