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Try this using two pans, see Chef's notes below.
- 225 g (8 oz) uncooked basmati rice.
- 175 g (6 oz) cooked chicken pieces - remove any bones
- Steamed chicken works well - Follow the Chinese style steamed chicken using a quartered onion and a handful of fresh herbs instead of the Chinese ingredients
- 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 5 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 5 cm (2") ginger, peeled and roughly grated
- 150 g (5 oz) onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 fresh coconut, flesh grated and removed, see Preparing a coconut
- 4 hot chilli peppers (red or green), finely chopped - de-seeded if desired
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
The charm of this dish is the 'bite' of the whole spices, don't be tempted to grind them!
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (white)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Quickly wash and drain the rice but don't rinse it as you normally would, this dish is best with rice of a starchy consistency.
- Cook in boiling water for 7 to 11 minutes.
- Rinse the cooked rice in cold water until it is cold. Drain well.
- Add the rice to a food processor with a metal blade and blend to a thick creamy purée - adding a little milk if it needs thinning. Remember, the inside is not going to change much whilst being cooked and will remain at roughly the same consistency as it was when first mixed.
- Heat the ghee in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry all of the spices for half a minute, then add the ginger and garlic and allow them to cook for a minute or so.
- Add the onion and reduce the heat a little and let them cook until translucent; about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken, coconut and chilli to the onions, mix well and remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, mix everything together with the rice puree.
- Lightly oil a large non-stick oven proof frying pan put on a medium heat.
- Preheat the grill.
- Add the mixture from the bowl to the frying pan and pat down so it is flat
- Ensure the mixture is evenly distributed and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until the rice cake has properly solidified.
- If it catches on the bottom of the pan, use a pallet knife to turn areas of the mixture over, the more crunchy bits there are, the nicer it will taste.
- After 10 minutes or so, finish the rice cake off under a hot grill to it's nicely toasted.
- Sprinkle with lime juice and serve immediately.
Doing a 'freezer clean out', we made a marvellous version of this with 1 chicken breast and a bag of cooked red kidney beans. The chicken was thinly sliced and sautéed with lots of crushed garlic and the kidney beans fried with the chicken and mashed down a little - rather like re-fried beans. This was added in place of the normally cooked chicken in this recipe.
This recipe is great for using up the leftover Christmas turkey.
Having made this many, many times now, I'm coming to the conclusion that the best part is the glorious toasted crunchy outsides. In future I will use two pans and made two thinner individual rotis.
I heeded my own advice and tasted the coconut before preparing it. It was totally rancid, thank you Morrisons. Luckily I had both coconut flakes and desiccated coconut. For two people, I used two big handfuls of flakes and 4 tablespoons of desiccated coconut soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes then drained in a sieve. It worked fine and saved the day!
A better way of cooking this
After making variants of this for many years, I've discovered the best method of cooking is to spread the ingredients out on a lightly greased baking tray and bake at 220° C (425° F - gas 7) for 35 minutes, stirring up the contents every 10 minutes. It might be an idea with a meat other than crayfish, to add the meat (or prawns) for the last 10 minutes so they don't dry out.
- Crayfish and coconut rice cake with hot chillies - My favourite of all these versions!
- Roti: The Indian yeast free bread
- Chingri malai roti: A main course rice dish with coconut, chillies, rice and king prawns
- King prawn and coconut roti with tomatoes, chillies and ginger, a version of above with chopped tomatoes
- Murghi roti: A main course chicken and rice dish with coconut, chillies and spices
- Murghi roti with nectarines and extra coconut: A fruity version of the above
- Beef strip roti: A beef version of murghi roti
- Get chicken pieces the economical way, joint the chicken yourself
- Action coconut scraper with vacuum suction base, a brilliant way to extract grated coconut.
See it working in my 10 second video
There is no need to peel ginger. As a result of attending a Thai cookery demo, we have learnt that peeling ginger is unnecessary unless for aesthetic purposes as the skin is high in fibre and full of flavour. However, do remove any bits that have become tough or woody.
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