Rice is the best staple in the world and every country prepares it in some way. This grain also has several health benefits. It provides fast and instant energy, helps regulate and improve bowel movements, stabilizes blood sugar levels, slows down the aging process, and provides an essential source of Vitamin B1. Rice is also cholesterol free, low in sodium, and can help prevent cancer.
Food writer and Indian Cookery teacher, Nisha Kotona, celebrates this humble grain in her new book, “Pimp My Rice.”Nisha Katona shares a wide variety of ways you can cook with rice including, breakfast recipes, lunch dishes, recipes from around the world, side dishes and desserts. Before reading this book I wasn’t aware of how many different ways you can incorporate rice into every day cooking. Examples of her exciting dishes include: Creole Breakfast Cinnamon Fritters, Black and Red Boudoir Salad for lunch, Vietnamese Hell Rice, Lebanese Rose Petal Rice, Thai Wild Rice Salad and Indonesian Coconut Rice. I also encourage you to try Black Rice Sorbet with Cinnamon and Rice Donuts for dessert.
Kotona states in her introduction that she wrote the book for many different reasons.
“I wrote this book because I felt rice needed to be celebrated. I think this is borne from my guilt. Guilt because, for years, I overlooked rice as an anodyne, pasty-faced accompaniments: always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Why in the West do we treat this grain of grains like a second-class citizen? Why is it regulated to the realms of lacklustre side orders? Why must we dress it in garnish, clownish hues to justify its presence at the Indian feast? Why does its cooking technique continue to confound adults in the West when children in the East can cook it before they can pronounce it?
And I am as guilty as any. To be Indian and rice phobic is like being a vegetarian Turk: hobbled where it matters most – in your kitchen. I confess that I only learnt to master rice in my 30’s, when I had a young family to cook for and little time to spare. Shame on me. I work full time as well as running a busy household, so I need ingredients that will be at my beck and call – grown up ingredients that can be shown the dressings and trusted to work their own magic. Ingredients that need not be poked and prodded and peeled and goaded into a splendid main course. But I confess it was only once a young family eclipsed time that I learnt how to cook rice.”
Pimp My Rice is more than just a cook book. It is a learning tool that every busy mom should have in her kitchen. The recipes are simple and Nisha Kotona takes the reader on a world tour exploring the creative and wonderful uses for this grain. Preparing these amazing rice dishes will teach your children about different cultures and let them experience flavors from around the world.
Pimp My Rice: Spice It Up, Dress It Up, Serve It Up goes on sale October 13, 2015 and can be purchased at Amazon.com or other places where books are sold.
About Nisha Katona
Nisha Katona is a food writer, Indian Cookery teacher and founder of Mowgli Street food. She has a series of YouTube video tutorials that have a worldwide following. She has over 22,000 twitter followers for her daily recipes and live Curry Clinics. She has recently worked on a filming project with Food Network. Professionally Nisha has worked as a Barrister for over 20 years in the area of Child Protection. In 2008 the Department of Culture, Media and Spot appointed her as a trustee of National Museums Liverpool and in 2009, the Cabinet Office appointed her as an Ambassador for Diversity in Public Appointments, and in this capacity has been engaged as an expert advisor by the Guardian newspaper.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of “Pimp My Rice: Spice It Up, Dress It Up, Serve It Up,” in exchange for this review. All opinions are accurate and 100% mine.