Do you have any food quirks or traditions?
I do! I cannot make rice without eating a little tea cup saucer full of crunchy buttery fried vermicelli grains. Yes, I’m strange.
It’s one of my earliest food memories and takes me back to being 8 years old when my grandmother came from overseas to live with us for a few months. She would often make Vermicelli Basmati rice and would sneak a little saucer of the Vermicelli rice to me, sprinkle salt on top and we’d eat the crunchy grains with our fingers, giggling like crazy. It was our naughty little secret.
My Grandmother passed away not too long after that but this memory lives on. Now, when I’m making rice as a side dish to a stew, I have put some Vermicelli aside and hide in the laundry while I eat it. I don’t know why I hide, my husband is well aware of my crunchy rice eating habit, but eating my little saucer of rice in secret takes me back to being the giggly 8 year old with my Grandmother standing next to me, sharing the love.
Vermicelli Basmati Rice
- ½ cup of Vermicelli/Filini pasta
- 1 Cup Basmati Rice
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
Wash your Basmati rice in a colander until the water runs clear, removing all the starch from the rice. Be sure to use your hands to massage the grains under the tap. You will find that this removes even more starch.
In a saucepan, add the butter and Vermicelli and pan fry it on high until the Vermicelli is a lovely shade of golden brown. Be sure to keep stirring, the browning will happen very quickly and can burn very easily.
(This is the part where my grandmother and I would take a tablespoon of the fried Vermicelli, add it to a tiny saucer and sprinkle it with some sea salt and eat it gloriously crunchy)
Add the washed Basmati rice to the fried Vermicelli, add a teaspoon of salt and add the hot water to the saucepan. Cover and reduce the heat to the lowest possible temperature to cook the rice until soft and done.
I find that sometimes I may need some more water, if the grains are still not quite cooked, add some more hot water from the jug, close the lid and turn off the heat. The remaining steam in the pot should cook the rice.
Enjoy the fluffy and buttery rice as a side dish to any meal.