By Chef Chris De La Rosa
Before I get to the recipe, I’d like to mention that in the Southern Caribbean what we call Saffron (or sorfran) is really turmeric and not Saffron.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”.
As we approach the Labour Day Holiday, Chef Marc is joining us to share his take on this tasty vegan Sorfran rice (Turmeric Rice Pilaf) — a lovely, one-pot dish that is packed with layers of flavor, is gluten-free and something you’ll be proud to have on your holiday dinner table.
4 cups Jasmine rice
2 large carrots (diced)
3 cloves garlic (diced)
2 scallions (chopped)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 shallots (diced)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 green bell pepper (diced)
2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoon salt (divided)
3 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
4 1/2 cups veg stock (use chicken if not doing this vegan/vegetarian)
2 scotch bonnet peppers (leave whole)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 sprigs thyme
Please try to dice your vegetables the same size, so that they’ll cook evenly. Give the garlic and shallots a fine dice and remove the leaves off the sprigs of thyme. The goal is to have everything prepped and ready, so you’ll get the dish done with ease and speed.
In a wide pan (one with a lid) on a medium-to-high heat, add the coconut oil and about 1/2 of the olive oil. Then add the diced carrots, celery and shallots, stir well and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Now go in with the black pepper, 1/2 the salt, thyme and turmeric. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds, then add the peppers, raisins and the rest of the salt. Mix well and cook for another 30 seconds.
It’s now time to add the raisins and scallions, then the rice. Don’t wash the rice. I know this will seem strange to the average Caribbean person, as we always wash our rice, but according to Chef Marc, he wants to coat the rice grains with the base of flavor (and oil) he created, and a wet rice grain will not allow for this (watch the video below as he explains). Stir well, add a bit more black pepper, if you wish, and drizzle in the rest of the olive oil, to really coat the rice grains.
Make sure your heat is on high and add the vegetable stock and give it a quick stir and float the 2 scotch bonnet peppers whole – don’t break! Cover the pot immediately (please make sure all the ingredients, except the parsley, are now in the pot). Wait for it to come up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes. At no time do you open the pot or stir. I noticed Marc used a non-stick pan, so I’d recommend you do the same (it helps to not have burnt rice at the bottom if, by chance, you slightly over-cook it).
By now all the liquid would be burnt off and you’ll be left with plum (grainy) rice, surrounded by perfectly-cooked vegetables. Turn off the heat, remove the scotch bonnet peppers – again – do not break them, and top with the chopped parsley. Fluff/mix and get ready to enjoy one of the most tasty vegan rice dishes you’ve ever had.
Yes, you can leave it to rest a bit after you turn off the stove, but according to chef Marc, why? Get in there and enjoy!
Special thanks to Chef Marc for sharing this delightful gluten-free (and vegan) rice.
This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections globally every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource of Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.