TeaGuide: Reviews and Ramblings

April 7, 2013

Cooking with tea: Curried rice salad

Filed under: cooking,Darjeeling tea,food,tea,tea recipes,Tea sites,vegetarian — by JanisB @ 3:04 pm
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The calendar says it’s spring, and while some of us are still seeing the last of winter’s snow, already the days have become longer — and for most of us, sunnier and warmer.


Black India or Ceylon tea complements this dish nicely.

With the change of weather we’re starting to crave lighter foods rather than the heavier dishes of winter. This salad is something of a transitional dish: hearty enough for late winter, but also bright and fresh with a promise of spring.

For this dish I recommend you use an India black tea — Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri — or a lively Ceylon. Steeped the tea to regular strength. As always in these recipes, one cup of tea refers to an eight-ounce measuring cup. Basmati is a naturally white rice with a light nutty flavour and aroma; you can substitute jasmine — another naturally white rice with a lightly floral aroma — or if you can’t find either one just use plain white rice.

Serve this as an accompaniment to your favourite main dish in place of rice pilaf. Or for a light lunch toss in a protein source when you add the vegetables. For me that’s tofu sautéed in olive oil with a sprinkle of tamari soy sauce. And if you can find fresh spring vegetables like sweet peas or asparagus, toss them in as a substitute for, or in addition to, the celery or the bell pepper according to your taste.

This recipe is easy to double or triple for a crowd and keeps well on a buffet table.

Curried rice salad
About 6 servings as a side dish

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup white Basmati rice
2 teaspoons curry powder (or more to taste)
1 cup steeped black tea
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons tamari (or Kikkoman) soy sauce
1 vegetable bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon dry vegetable bouillon or broth
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon chopped unsalted cashews, preferably raw
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup bell pepper, diced (preferably use two or more colours)
1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste, optional


Curry powder gives this dish a flavourful “kick.”

In a heavy skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for two or three minutes, then add the rice and curry powder and continue to sauté until the onions are tender but not browned. Stir in the tea, water, tamari, and bouillon. Raise heat and bring to a boil (if using a bouillon cube, break it up with a spatula until completely dissolved). Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until all liquid is absorbed, about fifteen or twenty minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. When the rice is fully cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the vinegar mixture along with the cashews and vegetables. Toss with a fork and spoon until all ingredients are well mixed. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish or storage container and cool to room temperature or chill in the refrigerator. Serve cool or chilled.

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All content Copyright 2013 JP Badarau; all rights reserved.

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February 29, 2012

What’s the Easiest Tea to Prepare?

Filed under: food,tea — by JanisB @ 9:49 am
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People often tell me that they don’t drink oolong and white teas because these teas are so difficult to prepare. So instead they stick to “easy” teas: black teas.

Black teas easy? Are you kiddin’ me? After green teas, black teas are the touchiest and most persnickety of all the teas. Some of them are downright pains in the you-know-what to get right.

Read the entire post at English Tea Store blog.

February 11, 2010

Tea review: A plum good Ceylon

Filed under: exotic tea,food,tea,Tea sites — by JanisB @ 12:06 pm
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Menikkanda Estate FBOPF (EX-SP) – Ceylon Ruhuna Dist.
Source: Capital Tea, Toronto

Retail and wholesale
Tea photo courtesy of Capital Tea; additional stock photos.

This was one of several teas ordered from Capital Tea in late 2009. I hadn’t opened the sealed package until yesterday, when I found myself having an inexplicable craving for a Ceylon tea. It was the first one I found in the “tea basket” so I opened it up.

Long thin leaves with plenty of silver tips, and some gold tips sprinkled in. Pretty!

First whiff of the dry leaves in the sack was very promising: light cocoa followed by rich and fruity dried plum. It reminded me of a favourite candy I occasionally buy — an individually wrapped Russian-style chocolate from Brooklyn, NY’s “little Odessa.” It’s a dried plum (what we used to call prunes until the name was deemed unmarketable) covered in dark chocolate. The tea’s description describes it as rasberries, but I’m sticking with plums. Okay, maybe dried raspberries. Too fruity to be fresh berries.

The aroma intensified when I poured boiling water over the leaves in the six-cup Chatsford teapot. Following the steeping suggestion of three to four minutes, I let it steep for just under four minutes.

Flavour was very much on the plum/berry side, only a hint of the cocoa, and that more or less disipated by the third cupful. All in all a rich and fruity cup, with fuller body and texture than most Ceylons I’ve sampled.

Although I drink most of my teas unaltered, the description does say that it can handle “a splash of milk.”

Quite nice, and I’m thinking it would also be good chilled. If we ever actually do get some global warming I’ll give it a go ;-).

Available at Capital Tea’s online retail shop. Contact them direct for wholesale information.

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