Purple Rice is garlic buttered rice that gets its vibrant color from the red cabbage! You’ll love this 2-in-1 meal that doesn’t just have salad and starches, but also combines starches and lots of veggies in one meal. It goes well with everything: Western, Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican!
You know that night on the weekend where you marinate chicken to make a “quick dinner” for the week, and then you realize you didn’t plan any side dishes to fill the meal up?
Well, today’s recipe is just one of those recipes that will save you. It is one of the side dishes called 2-in-1 because it contains plenty of vegetables and starch, so it is filling. Two sides and opposites like mashed potatoes and vegetable salad.
What it is: A very mild kale flavor with notes of butter and garlic that will appeal to those who cannot afford kale for dinner. Bonus: really fun colors!!!
Ingredients in purple rice
- Jasmine rice – I like using jasmine rice in this dish because you get that lovely subtle fragrance. Other rice – the recipe will work with long grain rice, medium grain rice and basmati rice, though you will need an extra 1/4 cup of water or vegetable stock/broth. This is because jasmine rice requires less liquid to cook than other varieties of rice (more on this in my plain jasmine rice recipe!).The recipe is not suited to brown rice, arborio/risotto rice, paella rice, wild rice or faux rice (cauliflower rice, quinoa etc) as the cook times and methods differ so I’d need to alter the recipe.
- Red cabbage – Also called purple cabbage, this is what gives the rice the vibrant purple hue! You can use plain ole’ green cabbage if you want, but where’s the fun in that??
- Garlic and onion – Flavour base aromatics. You will adore the butter garlic flavour in this rice!
- Butter – As above, for promised buttery flavour! You’ll be surprised how buttery it tastes even though we’re only using 30 grams / 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Vegetable stock – The rice cooking liquid, tastier than water! Use low sodium stock. If yours is full salt, skip the salt in the recipe.
- Salt and pepper – Seasoning for the rice.
- Green onion – For fresh garnish at the end, though I wouldn’t say it’s critical.
How to make purple rice
One big, greasy rice cooking rule that applies to everything you cook: don’t stir and don’t look as soon as you put the lid on the pot! Unless, of course, you like your rice to be unevenly cooked, sticky and runny.
- Use a large saucepan or small pot, around the size of mine which is 28cm/11″. If you use a saucepan that is too small (~20cm/8″) then the rice-cabbage mixture will be too deep which will cause the rice to cook unevenly. Sauté the garlic and onion in the butter until it smells amazing / onion is translucent. Then cook the cabbage for a few minutes until it starts to soften (rather than being stiff and pokey). Don’t let it get completely wilted and soft because it will cook more with the rice.
- Add rice and stir to coat in the garlic butter.
- Add stock then scrape down the sides and push the cabbage-rice under the surface of the liquid, as best you can. The main thing is that you want all the rice under the liquid. A few grains poking above the surface will be fine, they will steam-cook.
- Cook 12 minutes – Bring the liquid to a simmer, then put the lid on and lower the heat to medium low, or low if your burner is very strong. Leave to cook undisturbed for 12 minutes. Do not lift the lid to peek and most definitely do not stir! That will disrupt the rice cooking and you’ll end up with unevenly cooked rice that’s mushy and gluey.Check – At the 12 minute mark, working quickly, remove the lid and tilt the saucepan to ensure all the liquid has been absorbed. If it has not, leave it on the stove for another minute or two.
- Rest 10 minutes – Remove the saucepan from the stove with the lid still on and rest for 10 minutes. Never skip the rice resting step! The rice will finish cooking and the liquid on the surface of each rice grain gets absorbed = fluffy rice.
- Fluff then serve, garnished with a sprinkle of green onion!
What to serve with purple rice
This cabbage rice has a fairly neutral taste with lovely butter and garlic flavors. This means it goes well with almost any and all cuisines, both Western and Asian.
The possibilities are endless, but here’s a starting point. Here are a few quick meals to serve with purple rice.