Making a pot of rice to serve with dinner is nearly automatic. But having plain rice day after day can get...well...a little boring, don't you think? That's why we've started experimenting with adding seasonings while the rice is cooking. It's just as easy and makes the rice so much more interesting! Do you season your rice?
Any aromatic herb or vegetable goes a long way toward adding a bit of intrigue to a simple pot of rice. Very often, some of the same seasonings going into the main dish are great for the rice as well. We've found that whole spices are usually better for adding subtle flavors, while ground spices are great when we really want the rice to stand out on its own.
We almost always add a bay leaf, no matter what we're cooking for the main dish. Bay adds a slight woodsy-herbal flavor that compliments the flavors in a curry just as equally as a plate of roasted vegetables.
Other flavors get added based on what we're cooking. Cardamom and coriander seeds work well when the rice is accompanying an Indian or South-East Asian dish. If we have it, we'll also add a nub of lemon grass or ginger. A square of kombu in the cooking rice is a nice touch for Chinese and Japanese dishes, while cumin seeds and even cinnamon can go with Southwestern and Mexican foods. And then dried herbs like thyme and oregano are great when Italian or French is on the menu.
We're having fun playing with different combinations from our spice cupboard. Adding a bit of flavor to the rice really seems to elevate our simple weeknight meals!
What spices and seasonings do you like to add to your rice?
Related: Five Ways to Eat Brown Rice