I made kedgeree for dinner tonight, which inspired me to enthuse, in the Z manner – LT read this blog long enough before we put our lives together, to know what to expect and he hasn’t been disappointed about my capacity for enthusiasm, though he might well, sometimes, have felt somewhat overwhelmed by it.
Two of my greatest comfort foods, you see, are kedgeree and risotto; both to make and to eat. Both, of course, are made with rice. And this made me think about rice dishes, as used all over the world. So many countries have their stand-alone dishes made with rice.
A rice dish that’s an accompaniment is another matter – obviously no less valid as a dish, but egg-fried rice is not supposed to be eaten on its own.
So, Italy has risotto, of course, and Spain has paella. The Southern United States have jambalaya. We have kedgeree – inspired by Indian kitchree (there are other spellings), of course, but that is essentially a rice and lentil dish (so I guess that counts for India), which was altered by Anglo-Indian cooks and brought over to become a British staple. North Africa and the Middle East have pilau and pilaff … but that’s as far as we got. On balance, we thought that Caribbean rice and peas was an accompaniment, and so were the Far Eastern dishes we happen to know, but we’d really like to be educated on the subject, if any of you can point us in the right direction.
A bit to our surprise, we couldn’t think of a French all-in-one rice dish either.
My mother read, years ago, that rice, lamb and pears were the foodstuffs that were least likely to provoke an allergic reaction, and that they could be the starting points for a diet, if one had symptoms of an allergy/intolerance but one didn’t know what provoked it. One then introduced other foods, one by one. I don’t know if that’s entirely true or not – in the internet age, one has learned to be wary of an unsubstantiated source – but it does, on the whole, seem that rice is one of the good guys. I like it, anyway. And there’s enough kedgeree left over for one portion so, the next time LT goes back to Reading on his own, it’ll be a meal for one of us.