Batanes yellow rice – my newest guilty pleasure

May 31, 2014
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I am a big rice lover; I tried to live without it for an extended period of time but I kept going back to it. I do try to keep it healthy by buying only the healthier brown variety and controlling intake.

But my trip to Batanes this month totally wreaked havoc on my self-imposed rice intake discipline. And I am so fine with that.

Our tour guide and driver Kuya Dale was raving over their yellow rice and he says it is a must-try. Luckily, on our homestay at Sabtang Island, Ate Linda surprised us with a huge bowl of yellow rice for dinner.

It was love at first spoonful. And at 2nd spoonful and at 3rd…Until I found myself getting a 3rd helping — or was it the 4th? I completely lost track!!

I had to ask her how it was done and she made it sound really simple. It’s just like cooking rice the regular way but with a few simple steps added — and an important ingredient: turmeric powder. It is what adds flavor, aroma and color to this simple dish.

Turmeric, or luyang dilaw, is from the ginger family and is native to India, where it is used extensively in cooking. While it is also used fresh, it is more commonly dried and ground into powder.

As soon as we got back to Basco, I bought a bottle of turmeric powder so I can recreate this.

It is really easy! Very delicious too. I think this will be my default rice dish from now on.

You will need: (for 2 servings)
1 cup brown rice, washed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons oil or butter
1/2 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups water

Let’s cook!
1. In a saucepan, heat oil and saute onion until soft and translucent.
2. Add rice and mix well.
3. Add turmeric and half of the water. Mix well to dissolve turmeric.
4. Transfer the rice into a rice cooker pot and add the remaining water.
5. Finish cooking in the rice cooker (15-20 minutes).

Notes:
1. By all means, use olive oil if you want it healthier.
2. Near the end of the cooking process, you may mix in green peas and chopped carrots.
3. Leftover rice is perfect for fried rice too.
4. White rice will also do.
5. It is still yellow even when using brown rice :p

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3 Responses to Batanes yellow rice – my newest guilty pleasure

  1. March 27, 2016 at 07:10

    I love the yellow rice of Batanes. We visited Last year and I bought several bottles of the turmeric powder, i am into my last bottle now, is there a way I can buy turmeric without going back to Batanes?

  2. February 15, 2016 at 18:33

    I love the yellow rice of Batanes. We visited Last year and I bought several bottles of the turmeric powder, i am into my last bottle now, is there a way I can buy turmeric without going back to Batanes?

    • February 22, 2016 at 12:20

      Hi Jonas! You can buy McCormick turmeric powder from any supermarket. This is what I use now because I only bought one jar of the Batanes turmeric.

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