Tuesday, July 14, 2009

rice-cooker curry

Lemme tell ya - it's hot, DARN hot over here in Japan, and it's not even August yet. I'm so thankful that we have air conditioners in each room (no central air or heat in most homes and flats in Japan), but my eeny-weeny kitchen, poor thing, doesn't have an outlet for an air con (or a window that opens, either - designed by someone who never cooks, obviously).

So my life these days is all about cutting corners in the kitchen and doing whatever I can, however fast and cool I can.

That's where my rice cooker (suihanki) comes into play. I LOVE it, love it, love it. So versatile and obviously designed by someone who does cook!

I've made two complete rice-cooker meals in the last week or so, and this first one was based on a baked "Indian chicken" recipe in More with Less (one of my favorite wedding presents). Here's my rice-cooker version.

You'll need:

  • chicken (I used boneless tenders, about 5 or 6, that I chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • minced garlic and ginger, to taste
  • salt - start with 1 t. - probably enough, or more than enough with the bouillon and soy sauce, too
  • 1.5 T. curry powder
  • about 1/3 c. honey
  • about 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2.5 c. chicken bouillon (I use water and cubes that I mush up - about 2 cubes for 2.5 c. water) - play with the amount of liquid here 'cause I'm having a hard time remembering just how much I used - usually the rule of thumb with a rice cooker is equal amounts of rice and water, but with this complete meal, I'm pretty sure I added a bit of extra liquid
  • about 2 cups rice
  • can of chickpeas
  • about 1/2 c. raisins
Do this:

Put your rice in the cooker, then add all the other ingredients and stir. Then just push the button for the normal setting, go into the living room (leaving your apron on), and play with your kiddiewinks in the air-con. Wait till your 3-year-old hears the beep and announces that the rice is ready, go back into the kitchen, wipe your brow, plop some curry into bowls, and flounce into the dining room carrying a martyr complex on the food tray like you've been slaving for hours. The kids won't notice, but you'll feel better anyway.


Kim said...

I've been wanting to make "dry curry." It looks like this might be kind of like that. Is your rice cooker a 3 or 5 cup one?

K and S said...

yum! I am not looking forward to cooking next month...

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Kim - Yes, I guess this could be classified as a "dry curry", though it was very moist. I have a 5-cup suihanki - we lived with an old tiny one for years that had been passed down from a teacher we knew, and then last year it finally bit the dust and I had to actually shop for one. I love it!

K and S - I know, August is SO darn hot - ganbarou ne!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your site- I stumbled onto it while trying to find a way to cook with my suihanki. Keep these great recipies coming!

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Patty, thanks for visiting Mamatouille and I hope you come back! I also have a suihanki recipe for a salmon and rice dinner you might like to try: http://www.mamatouille.com/2009/07/rice-cooker-salmon-dinner.html.

Earthlark said...

Japan... summer... x_x I did as much as I could to keep cool in the insular no-insulation country: carrying ice packs, soaking my shirt before biking to work, ignoring as much dress code as I could get away with... and putting my rice cooker and oven outside. I ran an extension cord through the hole in the wall where the air-con hose goes. I'd make my stuff up in the cool of the apt. and plop it into the cooker outside. :) I managed to stay fairly cool, but I'm still looking forward to spending next summer in Minnesota. :D

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Earthlark, thanks for visiting Mamatouille and also for bringing my attention back to this post--I had completely forgotten that I used to make curry in my rice cooker! I'll have to do it again...

Hope you have a great winter in Japan and next summer in MN!