This, thankfully, is a Thai recipe that doesn't require all the speciality ingredients that are sometimes so elusive. The list of ingredients seems rather long, but it is made in moments and has a lovely fragrant flavour.
Equipment and preparation: You will need a 9in/23cm frying pan with a close-fitting lid.
12fl oz/340ml basmati rice
50g/2oz creamed coconut
4 cloves garlic
2 large or 3 medium-sized fresh green chillies
4cm cube root ginger
20g fresh coriander
1½ tbsp groundnut or other flavourless oil
3 x 2in/5cm pieces cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
15 black peppercorns
1½ oz/40g unsalted cashew nuts, halved
2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced
4oz/110g fresh peas, or frozen and defrosted
1½ level tsp salt, or to taste
15fl oz/425ml hot water
2 tbsp lime juice
Begin by dissolving the creamed coconut in the boiling water, then place it in a food processor with the garlic, chillies, ginger and coriander stalks, whizzing until everything is finely chopped.
Leave this aside while you heat the oil over a gentle heat in the frying pan, then add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns and cashew nuts to the pan and sauté everything gently for about 1 minute. Next, add the onions and continue to cook over a medium heat until they become softened and pale gold in colour, which will take 8-10 minutes. Next add the rice, then stir once and cook for another 2-3 minutes. After that, add the coconut mixture, give everything a stir, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Now add the peas, salt and hot water, bring it all up to a gentle simmer, then cover with the lid. Turn the heat to low and let everything cook very gently for 8 minutes; use a timer here, and don't lift the lid.
Then remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and cover the pan with a cloth for 10 minutes before serving. Finally, remove the pieces of cinnamon, sprinkle in the lime juice and the finely chopped coriander leaves, then fork the rice gently to separate the grains. Garnish with the reserved whole coriander leaves.
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