Monday, June 08, 2009

Recipe for Baked Lemon-Curry Rice with Onions and Pine Nuts

Baked Lemon-Curry Rice with Onions and Pine Nuts
I think it's entirely possible that I'll grab on to any excuse to use pine nuts, because I love them so much I can hardly be objective about whether a dish really needs them or not. This rice dish that starts on the stove and then finishes cooking in the oven already had lots of flavor from the onions, curry powder, and lemon juice, but I loved the way pine nuts added that extra something. Of course, as I already mentioned, I'm not objective about it so you may not feel the need to add pine nuts for your version.

I'm using Uncle Ben's Converted Rice because it has a low glycemic index, but you could make this with basmati rice or any type of long grain white or brown rice. Some people turn their nose up at Uncle Ben's rice, but according to her biography, it was the type of rice that Julia Child favored. Converted rice is parboiled, which removes some of the starchiness (thus the lower glycemic index) and also helps keep the rice grains separate. Whatever type of rice you use to make this, you must put your hand on your heart and promise me you won't use instant rice, which is one of those foods that's so overprocessed it has no resemblance to the real thing.

Chop two onions and saute in olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are barely starting to get brown.

Add 1 tsp. of your favorite curry powder, and saute about 2 minutes more, stirring several times so the onions don't get too brown.

Put the onions into the casserole dish, then saute the rice in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, or until the rice grains are starting to brown. While the rice is browning, bring 4 cups chicken stock to a boil.

When rice is lightly browned, add salt, Spike Seasoning, and lemon juice and cook 1 minute. Then add the boiling chicken stock (carefully!) and simmer 5 minutes. After 5 minutes pour rice/stock mixture into the casserole dish with the onions, stir and bake covered for 30 minutes.

Toast pine nuts in a dry pan, then remove lid from the rice and sprinkle with pine nuts for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Baked Lemon-Curry Rice with Onions and Pine Nuts
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn just as an excuse to eat pine nuts.)

2 onions, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 T + 1 T olive oil
1 tsp. curry powder (I used Penzeys Sweet Curry Powder)
4 cups chicken stock (I used my homemade chicken stock)
2 cups Uncle Ben's converted rice (original variety, not instant or quick rice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but recommended)
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy frying pan, add chopped onions and cook 3-4 minutes, until onions are starting to get brown. Add curry powder and cook about 2 minutes more, stirring a few times so the onions don't get too browned. Remove onions from pan and place in casserole dish.

Put chicken stock in a saucepan and start to bring to a boil. Add the second T of olive oil to the pan you cooked the onions in, heat the oil about a minute, then add the 2 cups of rice and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring often so the rice will brown evenly on all sides. When rice is starting to brown, add salt, spike seasoning, and lemon juice and cook 1 minute. Add chicken stock slowly (the rice will sputter and bubble up) then stir and let rice simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour rice into casserole dish with the onions, stir, cover dish and bake 25 minutes. After 20 minutes, add pine nuts to a dry pan and cook, shaking the pan constantly, until pine nuts have turned slightly brown. (Be careful, they will be bitter if they get too brown.)

When pine nuts are toasted and rice has cooked 25 minutes, stir the rice and taste to be sure it is nearly done. When rice is just barely chewy in the middle, sprinkle pine nuts over rice, keep lid off, and bake 5 minutes more. Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Uncle Ben's Converted Rice is the best type of white rice for anyone who's following a low-glycemic eating plan. This rice would be a good choice for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

More Good Reasons to Eat Pine Nuts with Your Rice
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Basil and Parmesan Rice with Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Brown and Wild Rice with Pine Nuts and Thyme from Kalyn's Kitchen
Rice Pilaf with Raisins and Pine Nuts from PInch My Salt
Zucchini Stuffed with Pine Nuts and Herbed Basmati Rice from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Salad with Rice, Fresh Herbs, Tuna, Olives, and Pine Nuts from Lucullian Delights
Brown Rice with Toasted Pine Nuts, Carmelized Shallots, and Lemon Zest from For the Love of Cooking
Pinon Rice Bake from Karina's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes with pine nuts? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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More to Chew On:


  1. I'm with you on the pine nuts, Kalyn! I used to gather them when I lived in New Mexico, and I remember eating them when I was a kid and they were called "Indian nuts".

    Lovely dish!

  2. Can't quite try this just yet (just starting phase 1 of low-carb), but I'm putting it on my list to try once I get to the point where I can enjoy rice and nuts. I ALSO love love love nuts - especially pine nuts (but sometimes a touch expensive for me!)

  3. I've never baked rice before but it seems like an interesting method. I love pine nuts as well and should really incorporate them into more dishes.

  4. I adore Pine Nuts. My Italian grandmother put them in everything! Pignolia I think she called them. Never had them this way though. It looks so pretty and tasty:) I must save this recipe for, someday...I promise I won't use instant rice.

    Thanks for sharing Kalyn...

  5. Baked rice is a favorite around here. I use leftovers for roll-ups and burritos. Sounds so delicious, Kalyn.

  6. I love the color of this rice! Pine nuts are a great addition too!

  7. Its funny how you hear terms all the time and never really wonder what they mean. Like converted rice. I totally didn't know that!

    Hope you are still enjoying your life of leisure!

  8. I will try this soon!


  9. What a lovely dish! I've made something similar in the past with rice and pinenuts (using coriander to add a herbal note). I'll have to try adding lemon and curry. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Toni, love the idea of calling them "Indian nuts." My dad tells me about picking them up off the ground win Park City, Utah when he was a boy. They roasted them in the oven.

    Clare, I buy them at Costco, then store in the freezer so I can use just a bit at a time.

    Joanne, baked rice is a great way to free up the stove!

    Louise, Love the Italian name for pine nuts.

    Karina, great ideas for using the leftovers!

    Maria, it was definitely bright yellow for the small amount of curry powder!

    Katerina, loving the life of leisure (although I'm working pretty hard!) Somehow the word "converted" sounds worse than it should, don't you think?

    Anonymous, hope you do.

    Lou, your versions sounds good too!

  11. I always have pine nuts on hand. They are a little expensive, but darn good. I bet this lovely dish would taste great using brown basmati rice. I made a stove top lemon brown rice for dinner last night.

  12. I always forget about baking rice. I love the texture of baked rice, but somehow have gotten in the habit of throwing rice into the rice cooker instead. Thanks for the reminder that this is a very delicious way to prepare it.

  13. What a great combination of flavors! I adore pine nuts as well. I typically toast a whole bunch of them at a time, put them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer to use in salads, etc. whenever I like.

  14. This looks fantastic, Kalyn! The curry and lemon combination sounds just delicious. I've never baked rice before, but I will have to try this soon. My husband would swoon!

  15. beautiful. I imagine you can do this with almonds, too?

  16. The combo of pine nuts and onion sounds fantastic, Kalyn! I wish someone could make these all of the lovely looking savory meals you feature here. I'll bring dessert... :)

  17. If it's up to me you can certainly put pinenuts in any dish.. Love them too! This sounds like a wonderful dish.

  18. Lisa, I'd love this with brown basmati rice. I'm also a fan of Uncle Ben's brown rice too. Pine nuts are a splurge for me too, but such a treat.

    Lydia, love the rice cooker too, but this is a great way to make a fancier rice dish.

    CC, also keep my pine nuts in the freezer. They thaw really quickly and stay good much longer that way.

    Susan, baked rice is so easy! You must try it.

    burpandslurp, I think almonds would be great too.

    Lauren, would be fun to have a giant food blogger pot-luck. I'm glad you're bringing dessert; that's definitely not my specialty.

    Junglefrog, thanks! Fun to find so many pine nut fans!

  19. I have never had baked rice! Now you have inspired me! :)

  20. Kalyn,
    I'm with you on the pine nuts. I love those little nuggets.

  21. I love the color of the rice. Too bad I'm out of pine nuts!

  22. I will try this soon!

    Thank you

  23. Looks great - I make a version of this which involves slice of potato on the bottom but the same lemon juice and curry powder. The pine nuts seem like an excellent addition!

  24. Argh, I am a failure at keeping up with comments!

    Anh, love it if I can inspire YOU.

    Kevin, pine nuts are so wonderful aren't they?

    Liz, always time to make a trip to Costco!

    Lida, hope you like it.

    Miri, I've heard of that Persian recipe of putting a layer of potato on the bottom of the rice. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be South Beach Diet friendly for me, but it sounds good.

  25. Oh dear lawd! This sounds good. Maybe I'll serve it with the greek marinade pork!

  26. I'm crazy with lemon flavor, so I'd definitely try it... It'd be great with Orzo instead of rice too. Or maybe with pesto instead of lemon juice... Lots of variation!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  27. I made this last night and loved it. I probably should have cooked some meat to go with it, but I was so set on trying it I didn't plan any other "real" dishes to go with it, lol! I loved the texture of the rice after it was baked, and the curry flavor was excellent, but I wish I could have tasted more lemon, because I'm a lemon lover!

  28. So glad you liked it. No reason you couldn't add even more lemon juice if you'd like. I agree, you can never have too much lemon for me.


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