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Long grain white rice (Recipe: golden festival rice) {vegan, gluten-free}


Sadly, I'm not much of a linguist; it's taken me a lifetime to master English, and a few dozen key words (hello, thank you, where, toilet -- sometimes used all together, just like that) in a few other languages.

Occasionally I've had the experience of being in my own country and not being able to speak the language. While this most often happens in ethnic food markets, I also had to learn the local lingo in the Cajun country of South Louisiana (pronounced, locally, loo-zee-ANN-ah), where I fell in love with jambalaya (jam-boh-LIE-ah).

For years, jambalaya was a fixture in our kitchen. I'd make it a couple of times a month or more. The heat of the Tabasco sauce is compelling; the more I used, the more I could tolerate, the more I wanted to put in the next batch, the more I craved that next batch (yes, this is the definition of addiction...).

So I needed to keep more and more long grain white rice on hand. I graduated quickly from the one-pound to the three-pound box. Now I go straight for the five-pound bag that fits perfectly into my one-gallon storage jar.

As popular as rice is in the American South, its origins go back more than 3,500 years to India and the Niger River delta in Africa. China, India and Indonesia remain the world's primary producers; in the United States, the southern colonies of South Carolina and Georgia began to grow rice fairly recently (in 1694), and they derived great wealth from their rice crops.

The modern production method, removing the bran and germ layers of brown rice until all that remains is the inner white kernel, results in a highly-polished rice that cooks quickly; it also strips the rice of many nutrients, so a number of companies sell enriched white rice, which restores some of those nutrients. Long grain rice has slender kernels, four or five times longer than they are wide, that expand in both length and width when cooked, yet remain separate and fluffy.

When you bring rice home from the market, transfer it from its bag to an airtight container, to prevent any little stowaways from moving in. Stored in this way, rice will keep for a year or more.

In the kitchen, long grain white rice is like all-purpose flour; if you're missing the particular rice called for in a recipe, long grain always steps up to the plate, whether as a side dish, soup, casserole, biryani, pilaf or a lovely sweet pudding.

Golden festival rice

A beautiful accompaniment to any Indonesian or Indian menu. Inspired by several cookbooks. Serves 8.


2-1/2 cups canned coconut milk diluted with 2-1/2 cups water
4 cups long grain white rice
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2-1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp minced fresh chives
3 Tbsp minced red hot chile


Spread rice out on a tray or flat surface, and pick over by hand to remove any foreign bits. Place the rice in a bowl and add cold water to cover. Stir vigorously with your fingertips, then drain off the water. Repeat several times until the water runs almost clear.

Drain rice and transfer to a saucepan. Add the coconut milk, turmeric and garlic, and blend well. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce the heat to very low, cover tightly, and cook until the coconut milk is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add vegetable oil to a saute pan, and turn heat to medium. Fry the shallots until crispy and brown.

Spoon rice into a buttered 2 quart bowl, let sit for 10 minutes, and then invert onto a serving plate. Crown the rice with fried shallot, chives and chile.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Beef hot links (Recipe: Lydia's very famous jambalaya

Risotto ai funghi
Riz imfalfal

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I just had long-grain brown rice for dinner. It always makes for a great, cheap, satisfying meal.

We have more varieties of rice on the shelves of our supermarket than anywhere I've seen...not rice mixes like in the U.S. but actual varieties. Jasmine, Thai, Camargue, red, brown, black... Now I'm going to have to count them...make a list...

This recipe sounds great -- I love spicy rice preps. But I am still craving fried rice from your last post.

Golden Festival Rice. The name itself is enough to make me run to the kitchen and make this!

This sounds just wunnerful! Of course I'll need to tame it down from "red hot" to "extremely mild" for my capsaicin allergied wife, but the flavor will still be there, and that's what counts, right ;)

Really interesting post Lydia. We often use white rice at home because, as you point out, it cooks quickly, but lately I've been trying to incorporate brown rice into our diet too.

At any rate, this golden festival rice sounds delicious!

A measly five pounds?!! ;-) My nearby intl grocery sells fifty pound bags of rice (haven't counted how many kinds, must do that soon but I imagine there must be at least 10 in 50-pound bags) and every visit, I see someone hauling one out. Imagine ...

Rice is a staple at home. And I can just imagine how good this taste - what with the addition of coconut milk!

I wonder if I could try this recipe with a rice cooker?

The recipe looks great - I love white rice with coconut milk! Absolutely delicious, whether made to be sweet OR savory. Thanks for posting my true love of rice - the white :)

this is going to be a lot of fun, plenty of ideas for my new rice cooker (it´s beginning to show some wear and tear already)

Kelly, what did you do with your rice? If you have a recipe you'd like to share, please do -- or post the link to your site.

Katie, I've never heard of Camargue rice -- is that local to your area?

Christine, speaking of cravings, there's one more rice to come this week....

Nupur, the color is stunning, as you can imagine. I do like this with many types of curries.

Jerry, instead of adding heat, you could try adding smoked paprika, just a tiny bit -- no heat, but definite flavor. Or just split the bowl in half, and put the chiles on your side!

Ari, I think lots of us feel the same way -- we know we should eat more brown rice, but white rice is faster and tastes so much "lighter."

Alanna, they have those 50-pound bags in my Asian markets, too. I would need one gigantic rice cooker for that much rice!!

Veron, the coconut milk definitely gives richness to the rice. And the color is spectacular!

Tigerfish, why not?

Hillary, lots of white-rice lovers in The Perfect Pantry, to judge by the comments this week!

Lobster, are you ready for your second-generation rice cooker already? Good for you! That must mean you are using it a lot!

Rice made with coconut milk-to die for! How many more rice products can we get in the supermarkets. Just when I find a great tasting one, another arrives~I will have to post some pictures of my rice adventures in the Far East~such an informative post, thank you!

Oh yum! I just made some pilaf yesterday, and still crave for some more. The recipe you have there is excellent!

Lydia, I have these mysterious packages of red and black rice in my pantry -- will you be covering? I have no idea where to start!

I love rice dishes & since being in Asia there's plenty to choose from! I am particularly fond of fragrant Basmati & Jasmine rice.

Jann, I hope my readers will head over to your blog to see your wonderful photos from China. Like TW, I grew up with Minute Rice, so it's a real treat to be able to experience the whole range of rices that people in other parts of the world have been eating for centuries.

Anh, the coconut milk really makes this delicious.

TW, there's one more rice to come this week, and then I'll be rooting around in the pantry to see what else is there. I do have red rice (no black, though), so stay tuned.

CC, I'm with you on basmati and jasmine rice -- love them!

I found you thought Alanna's blog. Clicked on to peruse. Rice, right up my alley...I'm just about to sit down (by myself tonight)to eat my dinner. Guess what I'm having? You guessed it, rice (brown. I'm printing out some pages of your blog to read. I love your take-off on the Doctor Seusse, I may post a blog on that! It's great.

I've always loved rice. But after I had to go gluten-free, I LOVE rice. We have at least five different kinds in our pantry at any time. But long-grain white rice? oh yes.

Meg, welcome to The Perfect Pantry! I hope that some of the recipes here might fit the bill for your macrobiotic potluck parties.

Shauna, I always have four of five kinds of rice in the pantry --no, maybe more than that -- nishiki (white and brown), valencia or bomba, long grain white, basmati and jasmine, arborio or carnaroli.... goodness!

Hi Lydia,
Thought I'd comment on the rice again as I just realized mine is ready, (yes I eat it for breakfast sometimes) when I'm not eating oatmeal or creamy polenta toped with seeds, nuts, and sometimes seasonal fruit! But,I love rice it too, and have about 5 different kinds.

I definitely can find something to "foot the bill"on this great site for my macrobiotic practice. I took Alanna's suggestion and for some recipes it is easy to change a few ingredients. My friend Patty says I "macrotize" it. I also like really like all the other food related information and the comraderie!

Meg, I'm so glad to hear that you are "macrotizing" The Perfect Pantry (I love that word, macrotize). I hope that when you find a recipe you like, you'll be able to leave a comment about how you've modified it to fit your dietary regimen. That would be so helpful for other readers looking to macrotize (see, I'm using it already!) their own diets.

I definitely WILL leave a comment when I "macrotize"! Thanks, Lydia.

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