Z rices to the occasion

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.

9 comments on “Z rices to the occasion

    1. Z Post author

      I think they’d go rather well together. Sort of Moroccan?

      Actually, I’m just going to check a recipe I have. I’ve a feeling it also has preserved lemons. I’ll be back…

      1. Z Post author

        Spiced lamb with pears and dates (and lemon) from Simply Good Food by Katie Stewart and Caroline Young. Rice isn’t integral to the dish, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t be, as it’s served with it.


    Off to my cot shortly after a rather yummy Balti which, of course, involved rice. Tonight it was with brown basmati.
    When you are researching you combo, don’t forget the rice(pudding) with pears that some of us grew up with.

  2. Z Post author

    If one moves on to rice dishes as accompaniments, there are plenty of new avenues opened up. Interesting that the Mexican dish has the rice sautéed until it’s golden brown, I’ve never done that. Just tossed it in the butter or oil before adding liquid.

    We talked about rice pudding too, Di – reckoning it as the other great British rice dish along with kedgeree.

  3. Mother of the Bride

    Croatia – specifically the Dalmatian coast – has crni rizot or black rice. It’s made with cuttlefish ink.
    I think Italy and Spain also have variations on this theme.

  4. Z Post author

    Hello MOTB, lovely to hear from you, I hope all’s well with you. I’ve had pasta with cuttlefish ink, but never rice.

    I make kedgeree quite often, Liz, varying the style somewhat. i really like it too. Fortunately, so does Tim.


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