Thursday, 8 November 2012

Discovering Tilda British Curry rice

Did you watch the 2010 MasterChef finals, biting your nails and rooting for Dhruv Baker? His consistently excellent work and inspiring recipes brought him the crown of the MasterChef winner. If you were wondering what Dhruv Baker has been doing since, you might be happy to discover that he has teamed up with Tilda, the UK's number one Basmati brand with over 30 years experience, to create a 'British Curry' Steamed Basmati Pouch. This Limited Edition rice reflects Baker's culinary influences and inspiration.

I often buy Tilda rice pouches. Butternut squash steamed brown basmati rice and Coconut & Lime leaf steamed basmati rice are our favourites.When Tilda asked me if I'd like to test and review a new Limited Edition rice created by Dhruv Baker, I was very curious to try it. Once I received the packet, I was impressed to find out that this rice combines creamy coconut, curry leaves and coriander with fragrant cinnamon, sweet apricots and star anise. Sounds like a winning combination. I wanted to do the stuffed mini-pumpkins and sweet peppers for our Halloween dinner. Usually I would cook the long grain rice or the jasmine rice, but this time I decided to be more adventurous. If you like the sound of the stuffed sweet peppers, please have a look at my recipe here. We all loved the combination of flavours, and the curried rice added a nice touch.

If you love trying new recipes, Dhruv has created a number of recipes that use the British Curry rice, including Salmon Kedgeree, Coronation Turkey, Paneer Arancinis and Turkey Biryani.
These recipes are versatile and healthy.


It would have never crossed my mind to use the curry-flavoured rice to create the arancini, that's why I find this recipe by Dhruv Baker utterly fascinating. It is a complete fusion of different cuisines, cultures and flavours. What is the word "arancini"  associated with in your mind? Perhaps Sicily and Commissario Montalbano? I am still in two minds whether it is an invention of the pure genius or a crazy idea to marry the Indian and Italian cuisines. I'm sure the national cuisine purists would be terrified at this combination, while the fans of the fusion cuisine would applaud the audacity of the chef. What do you think?


1 pouch Tilda British Curry Rice

1 tbsp oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

A thumb of ginger

1 clove garlic

Handful coriander, chopped

A few kalonji seeds

2 tbsps. Desiccated coconut

2 tsps mango chutney

3 tbsps plain flour

4 tbsps breadcrumbs

25g paneer, cut into 1cm cubes

1 tsp mild chilli powder

1 egg beaten

Salt and pepper

Oil for frying


1. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan.

2. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies fry gently until softened.

3. Empty half of the curry rice into a large mixing bowl. With the other half either blitz in a food processor or mash with a fork until smooth. Add to the other rice

4. Add the coriander, kalonji seeds, coconut and mango chutney and mix together well. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes

6. Toss the paneer cubes in the chilli powder and some salt

7. Remove rice mixture form the fridge and form into balls about the size of a walnut. Press a paneer cube into the centre of each ball and squeeze firmly back into a ball shape

8. Coat each ball in flour, egg and then roll in breadcrumbs.

9. Heat oil in a small pan until 180°c or a cube of bread browns in 15 seconds.

10. Fry the arancinis until golden brown about 1 minute. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the Raita.


125ml Greek yoghurt

1/4 cucumber, finely chopped

A few mint leaves

Pinch cayenne

Pinch cumin

Pinch salt

Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste

Here is another recipe from Dhruv Baker, this time a twist on the family favourite and the British classic dish kedgeree.



1 pouch Tilda British Curry Rice

1 large knob butter

4 spring onions, finely shredded

Handful parsley, finely chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 cooked salmon fillet, or 200g left over salmon

Salt & Pepper

Lemon Wedges

2 hard-boiled eggs


1. Heat the butter in a large frying pan

2. Add the spring onions and fry gently until softened

3. Add the Curry rice, lemon zest and juice. Stir well

4. Add the salmon and heat through until piping hot

5. Season well with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley

6. Serve with lemon wedges and quartered hard-boiled eggs


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