Basmati rice. My first experience with this gem of a grain was at my middle school world’s fair where students displayed their months-long research project on a specific country. My country? India. In theory, this was an awesome school project, but the endless requirements of writing a lengthy paper, creating a colorful display board, gathering cultural items to showcase, and presenting on a topic pertinent to the country burnt me out. C’mon, we were just middle schoolers!
The one thing I actually enjoyed about the project? My presentation on Indian spices or more specifically, eating the leftover samples of cloves-infused basmati rice that I handed out during the presentation. Big thanks to my mom for lending her cooking abilities since mine were severely lacking back then.
Maybe I didn’t have the cooking chops, but my taste buds were pretty darn smart. I remember enjoying a huge bowl of leftover rice when I got home as I relished in the completion of that damn project and discovered that basmati rice was most certainly better than regular white rice in the flavor and texture department.
And here I am 20 years later, learning about the authenticity of basmati rice and what makes it so unique and palatable. Did you know that only rice harvested in the foothills of the Himalayas is considered true basmati rice? I wasn’t aware of this until the kind folks at Royal reached out to me for a recipe collaboration.
Royal Basmati Rice is the real deal, carrying a distinct and unmatched flavor and aroma from the region. And just like fine wine and specialty cheese, this rice has gone through a 12-month natural aging process to ensure a long grain, and a less sticky and fluffier texture.
For this dish, I simmered the rice in rich and creamy coconut milk and stirred in fresh minced ginger for a bit of warmth. The essence of coconut and ginger take it to another level of deliciousness. And just as Royal promises, the rice yields long and tender grains and a light and fluffy consistency. I have to say, it’s definitely the best basmati rice (and probably the only true basmati rice) I’ve ever eaten!
To balance out the rich and aromatic rice, I infused lean ground turkey with bold red curry flavor and made meatballs for a change. For some freshness and crunch, I threw in sliced cucumber and carrots. And to round out the entire dish with a sweet and spicy punch, I made a quick chili garlic sauce to drizzle on top.
These Thai Turkey Meatballs over Ginger Coconut Basmati Rice are the perfect example of my happy place. Fresh, authentic ingredients with a touch of creativity, making it a healthy, wholesome meal.
Find Royal Basmati Rice at your local grocery store or on Amazon. (<–affiliate link)
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored, but a huge thank you to Royal for sending me samples of their Basmati Rice to use in this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ¼ cup oats
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cup uncooked Royal Basmati Rice
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- Chopped cucumber
- Julienned carrots
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Prepare the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 350. In a dish, combine the lemon juice, curry paste, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the curry mixture to a bowl along with the ground turkey, oats, onion and garlic. Use your hands to incorporate all ingredients until combined. Form the mixture into 24 meatballs and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
- Prepare the rice: While the meatballs are cooking, add the rice, coconut milk, olive oil, and salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the liquid has reduced slightly below the rice level, turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the minced ginger.
- Make the chili garlic sauce: Combine the chili sauce ingredients in a blender, magic bullet, or by whisking.
- Assemble the dish: Serve the meatballs on a bed of rice with sliced cucumbers and carrots. Drizzle chili garlic sauce and sprinkle cilantro over the top.
Nutrition Information (per serving) from Caloriecount.about.com
Calories: 442.1 Fat: 22.5g Carb: 40.4g Fiber: 1.3g Protein: 19.9g Sugar 7.2g Sodium: 1029.1mg