Lockdown has forced me to think about my travels and people I met. One person who comes to mind is Sanjay, who managed the Glenburn Estate in Darjeeling. At dinner, he cut open a bottle of champagne using a sword and invited everyone into the kitchen to watch him flambé bananas while regaling us about a battle he once had with a king cobra. But the thing that I took away most was his love of using green tea in cooking. He smoked ingredients with it, and he used it in salads and cakes. Here, I’ve used it as a stock in which to cook rice, which yields results much gentler and less dramatic than Sanjay’s stories.
This makes for a light springtime lunch or dinner. You’ll need two pans with lids: a frying pan for the vegetables and a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid for the rice. I used a sencha tea with matcha powder, but any good sencha will work well here.
350g jasmine rice2 green tea bags – I use Pukka matcha1¼ tsp fine sea salt3 tbsp rapeseed oil – I like Mr Organic3 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut wafer thin10 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced250g pak choi, quartered250g frozen petits pois200g mangetout4 tbsp light soy sauce4 tbsp cooking sakeBlack sesame seeds, to garnish
Wash the rice several times in cold water until it runs clear, then drain…