Cheap, quick and spicy rice.
Cook 150g of edamame beans in boiling water, then drain and set aside. Pour 400ml of vegetable stock into a saucepan, add 2 tbsp of red spice paste, then 200g of white basmati rice. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, until almost tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Melt a slice of butter in a frying pan, add the rice together with a large carrot, coarsely grated, and the reserved edamame beans. Stir regularly until the rice is moist but no longer wet, then add 3 eggs, lightly beaten. Season. Continue cooking, leaving the rice in place for a few minutes to let the egg colour, then stir it gently to break the mixture up. Carry on for a couple of minutes, until the egg is lightly cooked and visible in patches throughout the rice. Toss in some coriander. Serves 2-3.
Once the rice is soft and tender, add the lightly beaten egg. The trick is to leave it in place for a minute or so for the egg to partially set, before stirring and breaking it up among the grains of rice. It is easy to overcook, so once the egg goes in, stir briefly and regularly to break the egg up and distribute it evenly through the rice.
Use green curry paste instead of red. Before you add the rice to the pan, fry a few sliced mushrooms in the butter, letting them colour lightly, before adding the rice and egg. At the very end, fold in a little chopped cooked spinach, or some cooked peas. Broad beans will work if there is no edamame.
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'At the very end, fold in a little chopped cooked spinach or some cooked peas': Nigel Slater on his quick spiced rice recipe. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer