Fragrant Coconut Cardamom Short Grain Brown Rice

This is a fresh, original, fragrant recipe for short grain brown rice. A cross between a side dish and a main, a pilau and a risotto, you can enjoy it on its own, or as an accompaniment to a saucy curry, or anything else you may be craving. In our home, we tend to let this be the star, with all its glorious fragrant tones and creaminess. Some steamed broccoli, or greens alongside it, suffice. Cardamom, cinnamon, basil and coconut, give this wholesome and highly nutritious rice, such a beautiful flavour, the aromas will travel and linger around the house, tickling noses and drawing everyone to pop in the kitchen, eyes closed, breathing it in, wanting a taste. A lovely, elegant recipe, made with these simple, yet special nutritious ingredients.

Fragrant Cardamom Coconut Short Grain Brown Rice

Serves 4


500g shore grain brown rice, soaked over night

1lt boiling water

500ml vegetable stock

160ml tin coconut cream

3 bay leaves

1tbsp cardamom pods

1/2tsp ground cinnamon

20g unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 1tbsp for serving

2tbsp fresh small leaf basil (or regular basil)

Salt and pepper to taste

๐Ÿƒ Rinse the soaked rice and place it in a medium saucepan. Cover it with the boiling water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

๐Ÿƒ Meanwhile, take your cardamom pods, reserve 6 or 7 and place the rest on a tea towel. Fold the towel over the pods and bash them with a rolling pin, or anything heavy that will break them and release the little fragrant black seeds. Roughly remove the smashed pods and discard, saving the seeds only.

๐Ÿƒ Drain and rinse the rice and let in stand for a few minutes. While it is in the sieve, take the empty saucepan, and pour in the vegetable stock, the coconut cream, the bay leaves, the hulled cardamom seeds, the reserved whole cardamoms, (note how many you put in), the cinnamon, and the shredded coconut. Stir the mixture till the coconut cream dissolves into the stock. Add the drained rice, stir, and bring to a boil. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, till all the liquid is absorbed. It should take around 10 minutes. It will smell like heaven. Check and adjust seasoning to your liking.

๐Ÿƒ Take off the heat, and fish out the bay leaves and whole cardamom pods and discard. Place a cloth over the pan and then place the lid over the cloth. Allow the steam to be absorbed for 5 minutes.

๐Ÿƒ Uncover the rice and stir in the basil leaves. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded coconut. Enjoy!


Cardamom is a spice which originated in India and has impressive medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries to treat all sorts of ailments.

Here are some of its amazing properties:

-Cardamom is very rich in antioxidant and diuretic properties, which is why it is able to substantially lower blood pressure.

-It is packed full of cancer-fighting compounds and has been proven to stop the growth of tumours in mice. Human studies are looking very promising.

-Cardamom has been used for centuries to help with digestion. In India, people chew on the pods after a meal to help their digestion and to freshen their breath. Some studies on rats have shown that cardamom extract reduced the size of stomach ulcers by 50%.

-Cardamom essential oil has been shown to be effective against various bacterial strains that cause fungal infections and stomach issues. Its antibacterial effect, may treat such ailments.

-Cardamom essential oil, when inhaled, or injected in the form of an extract, can enhance the body’s ability to use oxygen more effectively. It relaxes inflamed airways, and therefore can be helpful in treating asthma and other breathing problems.

-Other studies have suggested that due to its high antioxidant content, cardamom may help protect the liver, reduce anxiety and aid in weight loss.

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