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Dave’s Autumn Rice

Originally I was not going to bother posting this recipe, because it is such a simple thing, and not all that much to look it. Never mind that it is delicious and addictive and goes unbelievably well with our favorite skirt steak for a quick and easy autumn dinner. Never mind that it is an orchestra of flavor, full of tomatoes, onions, saffron, cinnamon, sultanas, mustard oil, port, and more. But then Dave pointed out something very important.

“Anything I have to make again twice,” he said, “is worth posting about.”

Twice again within a week of the first time he made it, that is. At my request both times. He’s right, it’s probably best to save the recipe at this point.

This recipe calls for mustard oil, which you can find at most Indian groceries or high-end gourmet stores. I get mine at Kalustyan’s. It is often labeled with “For use in ethnic cooking” and with “For external use only,” both statements on the same jar. The reason for this is that mustard oil is high in erucic acid, which is believed to be carcinogenic. However, mustard oil imported from Australia has a much lower concentration of erucic acid, and is safe for use in cooking. This is what we use.

Mustard oil is a thrilling ingredient to play with, so if you can get your hands on some of the Australian stuff, give it a try. It has a pungent aroma and subtle flavor that tends to help bring dissonant tastes together into a coherent dish. It is a wonderful tool to have in your arsenal.

Dave’s Autumn Rice
1 C basmati rice
2 1/2 C chicken stock
1/8 C tawny port
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 (big!) pinch saffron threads
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C sultanas
1 onion, chopped and browned separately
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp mustard oil
3/4″ cube(ish) chunk ginger, grated

Put everything except the onion into your rice cooker and mix together, then set it to cook. When the rice is almost ready, stir in the onions.

That’s it.

If you want to make it somewhat richer, you can add 1/2 C water after the rice is entirely done, then spread it in a 9″x9″ or so baking pan and bake at 350º for 15 minutes.

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10 Responses to “Dave’s Autumn Rice”

  1. novalis says:

    I would recommend adding almond slivers too. They’re only left out of this recipe because Danielle doesn’t like them.

  2. Bron says:

    Mmmm this looks utterly delicious and most times the simplest recipes are the best! I love recipes you can throw together from memory and without thinking too much about it, especially after a busy day.
    I’m also addicted to basmati rice, so I’m sure to try this VERY soon! Thanks Dave! Danielle!

  3. Deborah Schoch says:

    Dave’s mother Barbara (a friend and old member of a now defunct bookclub) told me about your site and I am very impressed. She has every right to be very proud with both of your endeavors! I think I might have to try the Autumn Rice receipe, it sounds so yummy…..Deb

  4. tw says:

    Hm. I wonder if you could substitute Colman’s English in powder form for the mustard oil. It seems like you could dissolve it in the stock.

    When I tasted the mustard oil, it was smoother than mustard, but otherwise…

    By the way – do you actually own the Last Course? I don’t remember seeing it on your bookshelf.

  5. Brilynn says:

    Without reading the recipe, that first picture alone was enough to convince me that I needed to make this dish.

  6. ejm says:

    I’m so glad you decided to post this. It is definitely worth publishing! And I don’t know what you mean by saying it’s not much to look at. It looks fantastic!

    TW, I don’t think I’d substitute dried mustard for the mustard oil. It might make it too bitter tasting. I’d be inclined to use regular vegetable oil (safflower, sunflower, etc) and pop a few brown mustard seeds before starting the cooking.


    P.S. We buy “Dabur” mustard oil now. It’s much cleaner smelling than our previous brand (We get it in India town in Toronto – Gerrard Street).

  7. Yvo says:

    Oh my goodness, I am continuing the drooling I started over at Homesick Texan’s site (which is where I got this link). Looks so good and sounds even better.

    PS It’s so odd, just a week or two ago I started thinking about an NYC food blogger potluck or dinner get together of some sort but was still thinking about the logistics, since I’m semi-new to the world of food blogging. I thought about it after reading about an Australian one… there are so many food bloggers in NYC though. Yum!

  8. Danielle says:

    Bron – You’re right about simple recipes. I always think they’re not worth showing off, but on the other hand, I always enjoy them so much!

    Deborah – Thank you foso much. Getting to know Barbara has been one of the many perks of dating Dave, and I’m really flattered that she showed you the link to my blog.

    TW – I’ve never tried dried mustard powder. I do indeed own the Last Course; I got for $1 at a stoop sale and it is on the bottom shelf of the cookbook shelves in the kitchen, right near the rest of the baking books.

    Brilynn – Thanks! That photo was my major contribution to this post.

    ejm – Thank you! It really does taste fantastic, too. I’ve never tried Dabur mustard oil; I just get whatever they have that looks safest at Kalustyan’s.

    Yvo – I wish I’d seen your blog before the potluck so I could have invited you. There’s a link on the right side of my blog to the NYC Food Bloggers mailing list I just set up – why don’t you go join, so you can be sure to get the invite to the next potluck? I’m very into community-building, and the last potluck went so well that there will definitely be more.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Holly says:

    I tried this without a rice cooker, and it worked brilliantly just in the saucepan, with the recipe unchanged (I had to add a bit of water towards the end and that was it).

  10. Danielle says:

    Holly – Awesome! I’m glad it worked out for you. (Dave was thrilled to hear about it, too.)

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