Thursday, December 13, 2007

Congee At Home - Warming Up Them Old Bones

I first had congee for breakfast in Singapore. Since then, I have had congee cravings, especially during cold, miserable days when the idea of a hot steaming bowl of starch seems especially satisfying. More than the congee, I think I like the accompaniments.

Yesterday, after work, all I wanted was a bowl of hot, steaming comforting congee. So, since, I am good at cheating, (and there was no way, I would wait for the 6 hours or whatever godawful amount of time it involved to make me a bowl of starchy rice) I devised a quick (1.5 hours max) method. I am sure food purists would frown and pout and look down on my methods but who cares? At the end, I had a bowl of very satisfying congee.

Without too much blathering, here's Cheater's Congee for you:


Short grained Rice - 1 cup (I used gobindobhog and it worked out fine)
Water - lots of it, about 7-8 cups
Chicken Stock Cube - 1 (Now, I hate using stock cubes, but I ran out of home made chicken stock)

Boiled Chicken cut into 1 cm pieces
chopped scallions (green onions)
Garlic minced - fried golden brown to a crisp in 1 tsp peanut oil and 1 tsp sesame oil
Ginger shredded finely
Coriander - cut fine
green chillies - sliced fine and soaked in a mixture of approx. 2 tbsps of fish sauce and 1 Tbsp vinegar


Heat the water up and dissolve the stock cube in the water, add the rice and pressure cook until the pressure cook whistles 6-7 times. Take it off heat and let the pressure go down. In a huge pan, boil about 2 glasses of water, and add the cooked rice to it and let it cook on a simmer for 25-30 minutes. That's it.

Take a bowl, add some chicken pieces, ladle some piping hot congee, top with scallions, garlic, ginger, coriander, chillies according to your taste and enjoy! This is guaranteed to warm you down to the tips of your toes.



At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, I've been trying to figure out a way to contact you but can't seem to get to your profile - either you've made it private or I am stupider than I thought I was ;)
I came across your blog after googling 'chamba lamba' - I was hoping I'd get a nice review of the shop but then realised that you weren't being very complimentary to people whose tastes ran to 'arty junk'.(see 'Hep Bengali Miss Fashions 2004 posted 30th Aug 04) **Me - cowering in corner**
I don't wear low riding pants though since I have a lot of 'junk in the trunk' as they say so profoundly, nor do I wear tight short tank tops.... I hope those factors will redeem me in your eyes and prove that I am not a totally lost cause.
The reason behind this long seemingly inane comment is that I was looking for places to go in Calcutta (or Kolkata to be p.c) - I am visitng there and have been trying to get as much info as I can about it. But since you seem to have a sense of humour and live in Calcutta - I was wondering if you could tell me something about it that's off the beaten track and not your bog standard tourist spot. If it helps, I am a history lover as well.

This should have been an email , but like I said, I couldn't find one to contact you. So, I am going to have to post my email id here in the hope that you will email me back. (pri.dattaniATgmailDOTcom)

Thanks in advance


PS: I really enjoyed reading your posts.

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just came across you post after googling condiment for congee. First time to eat this (because we have been so unseasonably cold and I am sensitive to it) and your picture looks yummy. I put to poached eggs on mine and while it was good it wasn't so satisfying. I'll try your toppings. Thanks. Yvonne


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