Bhagi Rice [RECIPE]
Over the course of this year I’ve fallen beyond in love with Jassie Singh’s “The Culinary Heritage of Trinbago”. I try to prepare -at least- one recipe a month from it on my live streams. Last week that recipe was Bhagi Rice!
Simple yet satisfying Trinidadian Bhagi Rice is a wholesome, nutritional side that complements many main dishes, including curries and stews. Bhagi is Hindi for Spinach, making this a “spinach rice”, however what we in Trinidad refer to as Bhagi is not spinach but rather the leafy green known as amaranth. Firmer in texture and more mineral in flavour, amaranth is touted these days as something of a “power food”. If you can’t get your hands on this veggie, feel free to use regular spinach in its place.
On-stream I made this dish purely vegan by avoiding the inclusion of saltfish or other salted meats, however I will lead the final decision to omit or include up to you!
Jassie Singh’s “The Culinary Heritage of Trinbago” is available from local booksellers, I picked up my copy at RIK. It’s also available on Amazon!
- 2 cups white rice
- water (or coconut milk for a richer result) – I used a rice cooker, for stovetop use 4 cups
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 hot pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 bundle bhagi (or 1 pack pre-packaged spinach)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4-6 pimiento peppers, seeded and chopped
- 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- Pick through the bhagi (if using) to remove any woody stalks and flower buds.
- Wash thoroughly.
- Chop roughly.
- Heat oil in heavy saucepan and add onion, garlic, pimientos and pepper.
- Saute until fragrant.
- Add rice and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add spinach, salt and liquid of choice.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- If using salted meats or fish add them at this stage.
- Cover and continue cooking until rice is cooked to your preference and all the liquid is absorbed.