We visited Colombia to bring you the sights, sounds and flavor of the local culture. With Culturs Celebrations, we create a Dinner Party Kit for 10 to make it easy for you to join the party and invite your friends and family. Get festive with us!
BROWN COCONUT RICE
1 fresh coconut 1 cup of rice
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup raisins, optional
- Start by cracking the coconut. Identify the two “eyes” of the coconut: two small, round indentations on one of its sides. One of these eyes will be more tender than the other. Using a knife, poke a hole into the softer of the eyes. Using a flat-head screw driver that you pound with a mallet, open the other, harder eye. Pour out the coconut water into a bowl and reserve.
- Crack open the coconut. Then, using a sharp knife or flat-head screw driver, separate and scrape out the white meat of the coconut.
Cut the meat into 2-inch chunks and place in a blender with the reserved coconut water. Blend until the coconut is finely ground. Strain the pureed coconut mixture over a fine mesh strainer in a large bowl, pressing down with your fingers to make sure all of the liquid is squeezed out. This liquid is called the coconut’s “first milk.” Set it aside.
- Return the strained coconut solids to the blender along with 2 cups of fresh water. Blend until well mixed and repeat the straining process above over another bowl. This liquid is called the coconut’s “second milk” and will be used to cook the rice. Set it aside. Discard the coconut solids.
- In a caldero or heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, bring the reserved first milk to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of sugar to help the caramelization.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, removing the milk that sticks to the sides of the pot. The milk will reduce, leaving behind solids. Allow the solids to brown slowly and caramelize. Keep stirring to make sure the solids don’t burn. Once they’ve reached a dark brown color (think the color of molasses), they’re ready.
- Add 2 cups of the reserved second milk. (If you don’t have enough second milk, add water to make the full 2 cups.) Wait until the caramel is dissolved in this water. Season it with salt to taste and introduce the rice.
- Increase the heat to medium high and bring the rice to a boil. When it starts drying, reduce heat to medium and continue boiling until most of the liquid has been absorbed and small craters form on the surface. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked through. Fluff with a fork, cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.