“I love rice!” – is something I hear on a very regular basis from Marlini- hardly a surprise when rice is so core to the Malaysian diet. This is of course unless you are Nazib Razak, the corrupt Prime Minister of Malaysia who recently sparked national outrage by claiming he prefers the hipster fuel of quinoa – non-indigenous to Malaysia (at 23 times the cost to local Malaysian rice). He must be a sound guy though – as Donald Trump – the poster child of moderation, decency, and extreme levels of genius-ness – welcomed Razak with open arms (and small hands) last year to the White House. I am pretty sure though that Trump, famed for exquisite culinary tastes (the McDonald’s Cheeseburger being the regular piece de resistance and a dietary staple for the orange toned and self-proclaimed saviour of the free world) would not go near my Fragrant Spinach Rice. If it isn’t American, is is FAKE NEWS!
Since Marlini came into my life, I have to say that rice has featured significantly more in the dishes I cook – and I have been introduced to some variations I had never even heard of. Following a little research online, I was amazed to discover that more than 40,000 varieties of cultivated rice are said to exist. This gets me thinking that I have a long, long way to go…my cupboard ingredients today only comprise Basmati, Brown Basmati, Long Grain, Carmargue red rice, jasmine, germinated brown rice, and Thai jasmine black rice.
Unlike many Asian countries, I have steered clear of a rice cooker and stick to the old school method I consider to be tried and tested – large saucepan, water, and getting the timing right. Whilst I cannot compete with Marlini’s rice cooker – a state-of-the art Japanese machine which may have had its control panel menu modelled on a Tamagotchi (the sounds at least) – I just try my level-headed best. Unlike me, Marlini is a rice guru – if she says that my paltry efforts waver between ‘ok’ and ‘yum’ – this is a big deal to me ;o) Roll on Masterchef!