But then I was inspired to go a more solid and nutritious route when Nancy of Spicie Foodie - another beneficiary of Maya's ingredient largesse - posted her pandan coconut rice dish.
You could say I became rather monomaniacal in my desire for coconut pandan rice, but I wanted to put my own spin on it. It occurred to me that incorporating elements of m'baazi - a Kenyan coconut and black eyed pea dish I am quite fond of - was just the ticket. I was right: the delicate macadamia nuttiness of the pandan worked perfectly with the aggressive earthiness of the beans and sweetness of the coconut. And, me being me, I added some red chile peppers to the mix to give the whole thing pizazz. I was lucky that I had fresh black eyed peas from the farmer's market, but dried ones would work as well. I would suggest you cook them separately and then add them to the dish.
M'baazi Mash Up
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small sweet red pepper, diced
1,2, or 3 red chile peppers, depending on your heat tolerance
1 pound fresh black eyed peas (or the equivalent dried or canned)
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 pandan leaf, knotted in the middle
salt and white pepper, to taste
Saute the onion, green pepper, red pepper, and hot pepper in the coconut oil until soft. Add all of the rest of the ingredients (if you are using dried beans, cook until soft in another pot before adding), bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked. Remove the pandan leaf and sat and pepper to taste.
This is a rich and satisfying meal that is great for the fall weather we're having in this hemisphere, but isn't too heavy for those of you who are entering spring and summer.
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Thank you again Maya and Nancy for the inspiration!