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Rose Petal & Lemon Rice

I made this the other day as part of a late lunch from things I had lying around the house. I was largely inspired to use lemon peel from an experiment with grating zest into my couscous. When I reheated the couscous later, the smell of lemon oil was just awesome. I integrated lemon peel and roses into this rice, but quite seriously, the lemon alone is also nice. If you want a stronger rose scent, add a few drops of rose water to the cooking rice.

3 cups White Rice
1 cup Brown Rice
Water or Stock
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Rocket Seeds (or Mustard Seeds)
2 tbsp Oil
5 Large Fragrant Red Roses (petals removed and reserved)
1 Lemon (zest grated and reserved)
A pinch of salt

1. Cook the brown rice alone in a rice cooker. Follow your rice cooker's instructions for one cup of rice, and double the amount of water. (Brown rice cooks slower than white, so will have to be cooked once alone, and again later.)

2. Fry the seeds in the oil on low heat until they're fragrant (will begin to pop).

3. Once the brown rice is cooked, add it to the spices in pan along with the white rice and allow to fry for about five minutes.

4. Transfer the spiced rice back to the rice cooker and add enough water (or stock) to cook 4 cups of rice according to your rice cooker's instructions.

5. As the rice begins to boil, add the lemon zest, salt and rose petals.

6. Leave to finish cooking. Serve hot, alongside a meat or vegetable main dish.*

* For an effect, you can add some beetroot juice or a few drops of red food colouring to the cooking liquid. Beetroot juice, leftover from boiling fresh beetroots, adds a lovely pinkish hue.


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