This recipe is based on a traditional porridge made by boiling ground, crushed, or chopped starchy plants–usually grains, but given backbone from including grass-fed lamb and moringa leaves, which makes it more like a stew.
Generally, rice porridge like this is cooked and served with flavorings (sugar is the most popular breakfast option) or mixed with spices and vegetables as described in this recipe. It is traditionally a common method to stretch the food budget.
There are many traditional rice porridges. the difference is often the thickness and the added ingredients. The rice is simmered in a pot with water until the mixture disintegrates. As rice is tender soft and easily digestible it is commonly known as a healing food. The ratio of rice-to-water varies from 1 : 5 to 1 : 12 for a Cantonese-style congee. Feel free to adjust the water ratio as desired.
This is a great place to try out a pack of our grass-fed lamb or goat stew meat. When cooked slowly with the rice and finished with moringa leaves, it makes a great, comforting dish.
This recipe is by chef Benedicto Marinas. Benedicto is a chef from the Philippines and worked professionally in Manila, Atlanta, New Orleans, France, Australia, West Africa and currently in New York. He will go to great lengths to find the perfect meal, stopping along the way to help those who struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition. He has just completed a book on utilizing moringa to improve diets in Mali, West Africa.
- Use favorite method to prepare rice. In general add rice to boiling water. A teaspoon of favorite oil mixed with the rice will make it cook sooner with softer results. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until consistency preferred.
- Cook the garlic in oil over medium heat until golden brown. Stir the onion and ginger in the hot oil until fragrant, about 5 minutes
- Add the lamb stew meat. Cook and stir together for a few minutes.
- Season with salt, cover the pot, and cook 20 minutes or more.
- Pour the lamb stock into the pot. Cook until you reach the desired tenderness of the meat, about 30 minutes more for fork-tender.
- Add rice and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add moringa leaves and cook for no more than a minute to prevent the leaves from becoming bitter. Garnish with green onion, deep-fried garlic and lemon slices if desired.