Tuesday, January 24, 2017

24th January ,2017 daily global regional and local rice enewsletter by riceplus magazine

1.       Business And Markets

Gov’t Cuts Import Tariffs for Agrofood Products


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The tariff cuts are not permanent and high tariffs are expected to be reinstated after two-three months


Saeed Jalili


Domestic Economy Desk

The government has sharply reduced tariffs on the import of meat and agricultural products, including rice and sugar, to keep prices in check in the runup to the new Iranian year (starting March 21, 2017).Based on a legislation passed by the Cabinet on January 21, tariffs on rice, butter, meat and bananas will be trimmed to 5% from 40%, 20%, 26% and 26% respectively.The new regulation also sharply decreases tariffs on pulses. Lentils will be subject to 10% tariffs–down from the current 15%. Tariffs on various types of beans have also been reduced to 5%.
The legislation describes these commodities as “basic, essential and urgent", stressing that the move will take effect as soon as relevant bodies are notified.
“The legislation has been passed to control the prices of these commodities, which have increased in the past few weeks,” a source in the Agriculture Ministry told Financial Tribune via telephone on condition of anonymity.
“The president himself has issued a directive [to the Agriculture Ministry] to take necessary measures,” he said. “Usually, we do not impose low tariffs on these commodities.”
He said the tariff cuts are not permanent and high tariffs are expected to be reinstated after 2-3 months.
The administration of President Hassan Rouhani has often placed temporary bans on the import of rice and sugar, among other commodities, in support of domestic producers. 
The whopping 40% tariff on rice imports comes as the administration bans rice imports altogether during the harvest season. This year the ban was in place from July 21 to November 21.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Iranians consume more than 3 million tons of rice every year, of which almost 2.2 million tons are supplied by domestic farmers.
“This [domestic supply] does not suffice demand. We need imports, but imports that are limited and controlled,” Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati had said in November.
Figures show imports are on the risem despite all the restrictive measures.
Importers shipped more than 630,000 tons of rice valued at $527 million into the country during the nine months of the current fiscal year (March 20-December 20, 2016), which registers a 22% and 4% rise in volume and value respectively compared with the similar period of a year before, according to the latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
India is the biggest exporter of rice to Iran. Basmati producers recorded a loss in their stocks last year when Iran imposed the seasonal import restriction.
The cut in rice import tariffs is good news for Indian farmers who have been seeking to increase exports following the lifting of Iran’s seasonal ban on imports.
Indian newspaper Economic Times earlier reported that Basmati prices are on the rise amid increased Iranian demand.
“Basmati rice prices have started increasing, as Iran has allowed imports from India. A formal notification is awaited, but exporters and companies have started getting queries from Iran and some have even started signing contracts,” said Angshu Mallick, COO at Adani Wilmar Limited—Indian supplier of packed basmati rice.
India exported more than 4 million tons of rice in 2015-16, of which 1 million tons were shipped to Iran, the report says, adding that this year, the industry expects exports to decline to 3.8 million tons, due to limited exports to Iran.
As for sugar, chocolate and candy industries have been complaining in the past few months that the commodity was scarce due to restrictive regulations regarding imports.
“Chocolate and candy factories, which are in dire need of sugar, are on the verge of closure,” Jamshid Maghazei, an official with the Association of Iranian Confectionery Manufacturing Companies said in July. Voices of discontent were heard throughout the summer. 
The claim was ruled out by the government. Hassan Abbasi, the deputy head of state-owned Government Trading Corporation of Iran, which is tasked with importing basic commodities for strategic reserves, said Iran’s sugar reserves were sufficient to meet domestic demand. 
“The government has no problem in feeding factories and controlling prices in the market.” 
Periodic bans on sugar imports are imposed mostly to prevent oversupply and support local manufacturers. 
According to Iran Sugar Association, Iran is currently 70% self-sufficient in sugar production and a complete self-sufficiency is possible within the next four years.  
Sugar production is estimated to exceed 1.52 million tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2017). 
“Domestic demand for sugar stands at 2.2 million tons annually. Therefore, the import of close to 700,000 tons is needed,” an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, Alireza Yazdani, has been quoted as saying. 
The government also imports a few hundred thousand tons for its strategic reserves every year.
In its latest report on Iran’s agribusiness, Business Monitor International forecast domestic consumption to reach 3.1 million tons by 2020, noting that demand will be mainly driven by population growth and improved macroeconomic conditions following the lifting of sanctions in 2016

ایران اور دبئی نے پاکستان سے چاول کی خریداری بند کر دی

23 جنوری 2017 (14:31)
لاہور (آن لائن) ایران اور دبئی نے پاکستان سے چاول کی خریداری روک دی جس سے چاول کی برآمدات میں مسلسل کمی کا رجحان ہے ، رواں مالی سال کی پہلی سہ ماہی میں چاول کی ایکسپورٹ 16 کروڑ ڈالر کم ہوئی جو گزشتہ مالی سال کے اسی عرصے سے 20 فیصد تک کم ہے ، علاوہ ازیں چاول کے زیر کاشت رقبے میں بھی نمایاں کمی آ رہی ہے۔

سال 2015 ء کے دوران پنجاب میں 18لاکھ 77 ہزار ہیکٹر رقبے پر چاول کاشت کیا گیا جو پچھلے سال کم ہو کر 17 لاکھ 89 ہزار ہیکٹر رہ گیا تھا، ،جبکہ رواں برس 18 لاکھ ایکڑ رقبے پر چاول کاشت کرنے کا ہدف مقرر کیا گیا لیکن تمام تر کوششوں کے باوجود 17 لاکھ ہیکٹر رقبے پر چاول کی کاشت ممکن ہوئی ہے جو مقررہ ہدف سے پانچ فیصد تک کم ہے۔ سٹیٹ بنک کی تازہ ترین رپورٹ کے مطابق چاول کی پیداوار مالی سال 2016-17ءکے ہدف اور گزشتہ برس کی سطح دونوں کے کم رہنے کا امکان ہے ، جبکہ اس کمی کا مرکز پنجاب ہے جہاں باسمتی چاول سب سے زیادہ پیدا ہوتا ہے

State-wide meeting set for Jan. 27


Posted Jan 23, 2017 at 2:10 PM
All meeting attendees will will also have access to the industry trade show as well as a free catfish lunch. The meeting is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and continue until 1 p.m.
By Dawn Teer / Stuttgart Daily Leader
The Arkansas Rice Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of rice farmers and industry representatives from the Arkansas River Valley to the Mississippi Delta and Louisiana to Missouri. This year's event will be held at Stuttgart's Grand Prairie Center and highlight additional resources growers can utilize; sessions include information from National Conservation Resource Service (NRCS) Partnership Coordinator Amanda Mathis, Carbon Credit panel discussion with farmers Mark Isbell, Mike Sullivan and Jim Whitaker and more.
All meeting attendees will will also have access to the industry trade show as well as a free catfish lunch. The meeting is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and continue until 1 p.m.
At 9 a.m. there will be a welcome and business session followed by a panel discussing Carbon Credit with local growers. There will be special presentations and a trade show following the panel discussion. The first step in considering NCRS financial assistance programs will be a conservation planning workshop held at 11:45 a.m. At 12:30 p.m. a lunch will be held.
To register for the event go towww.http://arkansasrice.organd follow the links under the Annual Meeting tab.
The Arkansas Rice Federation is the umbrella organization representing the state's entire rice industry. It is comprised of Arkansas Rice Farmers, the Arkansas Rice Council, Arkansas Rice Millers and Arkansas Rice Merchants.The organization serves as the full-time voice for the industry, providing proactive outreach to the Arkansas General Assembly, as the liaison to the Arkansas governor's office, providing outreach to the state congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., coordinating on key issues with state and national commodity groups and serving as the primary media contact for the Arkansas Rice Industry.
Arkansas Rice Federation is a member of the USA Rice Federation, the global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry with a mission to promote and protect the interests of producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses

BJP alleges collusion between rice millers and Civil Supplies Dept. officials

UPDATED: JANUARY 24, 2017 00:19 IST

BJP district president K Srinivas Reddy has alleged large-scale irregularities by rice millers of Jammikunta region in the supply of CMR (customed milled rice) to the State Government with more than 30% broken rice stored in the Civil Supplies Department godowns.
Talking to newsmen here on Monday, he charged that the Civil Supplies Department authorities colluded with rice millers and cheated the State Government. He also alleged that some of the rice millers in the Jammikunta region are procuring fine rice at ₹19 per kg from Nagpur and Bihar and supplying the same to the government at the cost of ₹38 per kg.

Alleging that the rice millers are resorting to recycling of PDS rice and again selling them in the open market at higher cost, Mr. Reddy demanded a thorough probe and action against the staff of the department. He also flayed Minister for Finance and Civil Supplies Etala Rajender for shielding the tainted rice millers who were causing serious loss to the State exchequer.

With regard to the party activities, he said that the BJP had decided to take up identification of beneficiaries for the double-bed room houses in the district and pressurise the government to construct the houses with the funds sanctioned by the Union Government. He also said that the party has decided to launch campaign for cashless transaction in all mandals in the wake of demonetisation


Upcoming Rice Industry Meetings Scheduled in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana

JENNINGS, LA -- Rice industry stakeholders will receive the latest information on opportunities and challenges in major markets at several meetings scheduled next week throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas.The Mississippi Rice Council Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, January 26, at the Bolivar County Extension Office at 406 North Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr, Cleveland, MS 38732.  USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward will report on what the change in the U.S. administration will mean for rice and Michael Klein, USA Rice vice president of marketing, communications, and domestic promotion will provide updates on domestic and international rice promotion activities.  For more information, contact Chuck Wilson or call (870) 509-1200.

The Arkansas Rice Council and Arkansas Rice Farmers will hold their annual meeting and trade show Friday, January 27, at the Grand Prairie Center in Stuttgart.  U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford, Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward, and USA Rice's Ward will all be in attendance for the event, which will focus on providing growers with tools and resources that could positively affect their bottom line.  For more information and to register for the event visit http://www.arkansasrice.org/annualmeeting/ or call (501) 375-1100.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will be the featured speaker at the annual joint membership meeting of the Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association on Tuesday, February 7.  The event will be held at the Grand Marais Center, 919 North Lake Arthur Avenue, Jennings, LA 70546.  A reception hosted by the Louisiana Rice Political Action Committee and a trade show will begin at 4 p.m.with program presentations, including a report from USA Rice, starting at 5:45 p.m.Dinner will be served.  For more information, contact Randy Jemison or call (337) 515-7250.

On Wednesday, February 8, The Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Association will hold their annual rice forum at 9:00 a.m. at the Rayville Civic Center, Rayville, LA.  In addition to receiving the latest rice production recommendations from LSU AgCenter scientists, USA Rice staff repeat the reports presented in Jennings the day before.  The forum will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and end with lunch.  For more information contact Keith Collins or by phone at (318) 728-3216.

A Southeast Arkansas regional rice meeting will be held at 4 p.m. following the northeast Louisiana Meeting on February 8, at the Delta Men's Association Building, Highway 65 (north of Eudora), Eudora, AR 71640.  USA Rice staff will repeat reports given in Rayville earlier that day and the meeting will conclude with dinner.  For more information, contact Justin Towery or by phone at (870) 510-0208

Rice growers hear optimistic view of future

POSTED: 01/22/17, 7:25 PM PST 

Yuba City >> Northern California rice growers were told that the future of the industry looks promising under the new presidential administration at the California Rice Commission’s annual grower meeting in Yuba City and Colusa.The event Thursday saw six speakers touch on various topics including how the election of Donald Trump might impact California’s agricultural sector and what is being done at the federal level in Washington, D.C., that might influence the industry.
Nicole Montna Van Vleck, president and CEO of Montna Farms, said she has been attending the annual event for about a decade.“I think the CRC Grower Meeting is very valuable,” Van Vleck said. “The speakers covered a lot of relevant information for rice growers today. There is a lot going on right now in the industry.”Tyson Redpath, senior vice president of The Russell Group in Washington, D.C., said the nomination of Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary for the Trump administration will benefit farmers across the country.
“(Perdue) is an excellent choice for the position,” Redpath said. “Leaders at both the state and federal level will need to make sure his voice permeates through the new administration.”
Redpath said 2017 will be a big year in terms of changes occurring throughout the industry, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture needing to readjust its philosophies and policies under the new administration, and how to best approach new farming legislation.
“The presentations were a high-level approach at giving everyone a look into the different state and federal regulations we face,” Van Vleck said.
“I think they did a great job covering a lot of complex issues in a short amount of time.”
Other topics discussed at the meeting included the different options for producers in terms of crop insurance, an update on what is happening in Northern California’s water world and the different programs in the works, and an in-depth explanation about the Agricultural Act of 2014 — aka the Farm Bill — and how to navigate the different programs associated with it.
Todd Manley, director of government relations for the Northern California Water Association, discussed how the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa and Glenn counties would have benefited the state, as well as farmers throughout California, this year with its storage capabilities — and the key issues that will come into play in 2017.
“We had a wet year last year, so I think everyone can expect full deliveries this year,” Manley said

H1 rice output seen hitting 8.54 MMT

By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas
Paddy-rice production in the first half of the year could reach 8.54 million metric tons (MMT), 11.68 percent higher than the 7.65 MMT recorded a year ago, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).In the latest “Rice and Corn Situation Outlook,” the PSA said favorable weather would boost unmilled rice output in the January-to-June period.
“Based on standing crop and planting intentions of 2.08 million hectares, the January to June 2017 probable production may reach 8.54 million MT, 11.68 percent higher than the previous year’s output of 7.65-million MT,” the PSA said.“Harvest area may expand by 7.62 percent, from 1.93 million hectares in 2016. Moreover, yield may escalate to 4.11 MT per hectare from the previous year’s level at 3.96 MT per hectare, or by 3.77 percent,” it added.
Based on standing crop, the PSA said output in the January-to-March period could go up by 15.22 percent to 4.53 MMT, from 3.93 MMT last year on the back of the expansion in harvest area and yield per hectare.
“Probable increments in production are foreseen in all regions except Calabarzon [Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon]. These may be attributed to the increase in harvest area and better yield due to adequate supply of water during plant growth and more farmers used high-yielding variety seeds,” the PSA report read.Based on farmers’ planting intentions, production in the April-to-June period could grow by 7.94 percent to 4.01 MMT, from 3.71 MMT recorded a year ago.
Despite the expansion in harvest area, the PSA said yield may drop to 4.36 MT per hectare compared to 4.38 MT per hectare recorded in the second quarter of 2016.
“Probable increases in harvest area are expected in the Visayas and Mindanao regions after drought or dry spell the previous year,” it said.
“Most of the farmers’ foresee good weather that may result to more plantings during this cropping period,” the PSA added.
Rice output in 2016 settled at 17.63 MMT, 2.88  percent lower than the 18.15 MMT recorded in 2015, the PSA said. The PSA attributed the output drop to the reduction in harvest area and yield caused by the typhoons that hit the country in the last quarter of 2016.
The PSA said favorable weather would aso allow the country’s corn output to expand in the first semester of the year. Production could grow by 29.92 percent to 3.67 MMT, from 2.83 MMT posted a year ago.
Production in the January to March period could go up by nearly a quarter or 24.98 percent to 2.4 MMT, from the 1.92 MMT recorded last year. The PSA attributed this to the probable expansion in harvest area and the increase in yield.
“Probable increases in production are anticipated in all regions except in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and Caraga,” the PSA report read.
Based on farmers’ planting intention, corn output in the second quarter of the year could go up by 40.32 percent to 1.278 MMT, from 911,000 MT recorded a year ago.
“Bulk of this output will come from Cagayan Valley and Soccsksargen,” the report read.
“All regions may increase in harvest area since farmers are optimistic on sufficient rainfall during planting period, except in Calabarzon and Bicol. In Northern Mindanao some tobacco areas may be planted with corn during this period,” it added.
Corn production in 2016 reached 7.22 MMT, 3.99 percent lower than the 7.52 MMT recorded in 2015 due to decline in harvest area and yield

National Food Authority-Davao City assures rice supply will last up to 33 days

 January 23, 2017  PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines
DAVAO CITY, January 23, 2017 (PIA) A top official of the National Food Authority Davao City Field Office guaranteed that the city has enough supply of rice that will last for 33 days at 350,000 bags of buffer stock.Rodegary Rongcal, manager of the NFA City Field Office said they have more than what the required government allocation for Davao Region.
She said with the abnormal weather condition in Davao City, they have been coordinating with the disaster agencies and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, so that the NFA can respond immediately to the rice requirements of affected communities.

“We are open 24-7 to immediately respond once food is needed especially during emergency situations,” Rongcal said.She said the NFA has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Davao City government to make rice available during emergency situation less the bureaucratic red tape.Rongcal however said that the rice production coming solely from Davao Region is no longer sufficient for its food security.

She said few provinces produce rice in the region namely Davao del Sur,  Davao del Norte and a portion of Davao Oriental.“The rice production is insufficient to support the required consumption of the whole Davao Region,” Rongcal said.

She also observed that in Banay-banay, Davao Oriental, rice production has shifted towards seed production, which greatly impacts on the need for grains. Rongcal said the NFA Council has endorsed rice importation for the first quarter of 2017 to augment the current buffer stock. (PIA-11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)


Rice Export Volume Drops

A rice farmer walks through a paddy field in a village near Patheingyi, Irrawaddy Division. / J Paing / The Irrawaddy
By KYAW HSU MON 23 January 2017

RANGOON — The rice export volume has declined this fiscal year due to flooding and a slowdown in demand from China, rice traders said.The rice export volume for the 2016-17 fiscal year is expected to reach 1 million tons, which is less than the 2015-16 export volume of 1.3 million tons, said U Ye Min Aung, secretary-general of the Myanmar Rice Federation.

From April-Dec. 2016, 800,000 tons of rice were exported, primarily to China, the EU and West African countries, according to the federation.

“We are now talking with the Sri Lankan government to send rice there, as they are facing a shortage due to weather problems,” said U Ye Min Aung, adding that this would contribute to the 1 million-ton export estimate for this year.

In Burma, “monsoon season paddies” are mainly planted between June and August, and harvested beginning in October. “Dry season paddies”—cultivated in smaller quantities due to the lack of irrigation in many areas—are planted largely between November and December and harvested beginning in April.

U Chan Tha Oo, a rice trader in Shan State’s Muse Township, said there were a few particularly bad months for rice exports to China this year, particularly in April and October 2016.

The average price fetched from trading to China is US$376 per ton, while overseas it is about $300 per ton, he said.

“The market with China is unstable, but it offers better prices than overseas trading,” he added.

Flooding last year—caused by torrential rain that peaked in late July and early August—inundated more than 1.3 million acres of rice paddies, out of 20 million acres being cultivated across the countryhttp://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/rice-export-volume-drops.html

Hain Celestial Group Inc : Blog Coverage US-based Organic Food Company Hain Celestial Joins Hands with Kishore Binyamin's Future Group to Expand Presence in India

01/23/2017 | 08:18am EST

Upcoming AWS Coverage on Sysco
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / January 23, 2017 / Active Wall St. blog coverage looks at the headline from The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) as the Company announced on January 20, 2017 that it had formed a strategic joint venture with India's largest retail group ? Kishore Biyani's Future Group to manufacture and sell organic and health food products in India. Register with us now for your free membership and blog access at:
One of Hain Celestial Group's competitors within the Food Wholesale space, Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY), is expected to report its fiscal Quarter ending December 2016 earnings results on February 06, 2017 before market open. AWS will be initiating a research report on Sysco following the release of its next earnings results.
Today, AWS is promoting its blog coverage on HAIN; touching on SYY. Get all of our free blog coverage and more by clicking on the links below:
Sharing his thoughts on the strategic alliance, Irwin D. Simon, Founder, President and CEO of Hain Celestial said:
"Rajnish Ohri, our Managing Director in India, and his team will work together with Future Group to provide us with an opportunity to grow distribution of Hain Celestial's brands and products throughout India with its growing population and our focus on families in a more meaningful way."
Kishore Biyani, Group Chief Executive Officer of Future Group added:
"Hain Celestial is one of the most respected companies in the organic and natural segment, and we are excited to establish this partnership with Hain Tilda in India. Together, we will be able to provide Indian consumers with products that set the standards for good taste and are healthful too."
The Joint Venture Agreement
The joint venture is between Hain's group company Hain Tilda India Private Limited and Future Group's Future Consumer Limited (FCL). As part of the agreement both companies will form a Joint Venture Company (JVC) with the aim of pursuing joint interests in food marketing and development in India.
The JVC will manufacture, market and distribute a wide range of organic and health based products including snacks, plant-based beverages and toddler and kids' food products under various Hain Celestial brands including Terra®, Garden of Eatin'®, Sensible Portions®, Dream? and Earth's Best®. The Hain Tilda range of products will also be marketed and distributed as a part of the JVC.

In a filing by FCL with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange NSE) where the Company's stock is listed in India, the other conditions of the JVC have been disclosed. As per the communication to the Indian Stock Exchanges dated January 19, 2017, Hain Tilda and FCL will form a JVC and each company will have 50% paid-up capital in the JVC. Hain Tilda and FCL will each nominate three directors to the Board of the JVC. 
Hain will be able to leverage FCL's expertise and geographic understanding of the market and its distribution network to expand its presence in the Indian market.

About FCL
Kishore Biyani founded the Future Group, a retail conglomerate based in Mumbai, India. It has significant presence in the retail and fashion sectors and operates a chain of Supermarkets, hypermarkets, discount stores. The Future Group has now diversified into insurance, logistics, and media sectors. FCL is the Food and FMCG division of the Future Group and has a vast portfolio of 27 brands in over 65 categories.
FCL current product offerings include Basic Foods, Ready to Eat Meals, Snacks, Beverages, Personal Hygiene Care, and Home Care. FCL has been joining hands with strategic domestic and international partners to expand its product offerings and range. In August 2015 FCL formed a JV with Switzerland-based Mibelle AG to manufacture and distribute personal care product range in the Indian market. In December 2013 FCL signed a long-term agreement with California-based Sunkist Growers, Inc. to manufacture, market, and sell the Sunkist® range of food and beverages and brands in India.
About Hain Tilda
Tilda Hain is a private Company which was incorporated in February 2014 in India. Hain Celestial acquired Rainham, UK based Basmati rice manufacturer Tilda Ltd for $357 million in January 2014. Tilda sells over 60 rice and rice-related products like dry basmati rice, steamed basmati rice, specialty and other rice, kids' rice, and stir fry rice to more than 40 countries across India, North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Stock Performance
At the closing bell, last Friday, Hain Celestial's stock climbed 1.27%, ending the trading session at $40.61. A total volume of 1.79 million shares were traded at the end of the day, which was higher than the 3-month average volume of 1.38 million shares. In the last three months and previous twelve months, shares of the Company have advanced 12.43% and 12.49%, respectively. Moreover, the stock gained 4.05% since the start of the year. Shares of the company have a PE ratio of 20.29 and a market capital of $4.19 billion.
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The 20 best one-pot recipes: part 1

Observer Food Monthly’s recipe selection, from Nigella Lawson’s roast chicken to Anna Jones’s magic veg spaghetti
20 best one-pot recipes: part 2
 Nigella Lawson’s roast chicken.
Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Observer

Nigella Lawson’s roast chicken with lemon, rosemary, garlic and potatoes

I am back to familiar territory with this: the smell of chicken roasting with lemon, rosemary and garlic has always seemed to me the essence of all that is comforting.
But this version is so sprightly and robust that I feel it uplifts as it soothes: it is good-mood food, and good-mood cooking, too. You just throw everything in the pan with brio and let it roast away merrily.
Serves 6
regular olive oil
 4 x 15ml tbsp
rosemary needles
 2 tsp, finely chopped , plus more to serve
 1 bulb, separated into (unpeeled) cloves
waxy potatoes, such as Cyprus
 1kg, washed if necessary, but unpeeled
unwaxed lemons
 1 medium (approx 1.4kg), preferably organic
sea salt flakes
 to taste
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Get out the biggest roasting tin you have, and pour all but a teaspoon or so of the oil into it. Throw in the chopped rosemary needles and the garlic cloves.
Trim the leeks and cut each in half lengthways, then slice into half-moons and drop these leek curls into the tin, too.
Cut the potatoes into 1.5cm slices, then cut each slice into 4, or just halve them if the potatoes are small, and add these to the tin.
Quarter the lemons, then cut each quarter in half, take out as many pips as you can without exerting yourself unduly and toss the lemon quarters into the pan. Now schmoosh everything to mix, and then make a space in the middle of the tin for the chicken to sit in.
Untruss the chicken, place it in the reserved parking space, pour the tiny bit of remaining oil on top of it and sprinkle sea salt flakes on top of the chicken only. Place in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, and if the juices of the chicken run clear when you push the tip of a knife into the joint where the thigh meets the body, remove the chicken to a board to sit, letting the juices from its cavity spill back in to the tin as you do so, then put the potato mixture back in the oven for 10 minutes until soft and golden. If the chicken needs longer, keep everything in the oven until the chicken’s cooked.
When it’s ready, and the chicken has rested, carve it or cut into joints as wished – I find the chicken goes further if carved. If you don’t want to serve the lemony, garlicky potatoes from their tin (I never mind), transfer them to a serving plate or dish and sprinkle with ½ a teaspoon or so of finely chopped rosemary needles and sea salt flakes to taste.
From Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus, £20). To order a copy for £10 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99

Uyen Luu’s stir-fried beef and fresh noodles

 Uyen Luu’s stir-fried beef and fresh noodles. Photograph: Clare Winfield/Loupe Images
Pho noodles (also known as “ho fun” and used in pho soup) are fabulous for dry stir-fry dishes, as they are quick and easy to cook. You can use any vegetables you like in this dish and make it as simple or colourful as you wish. Prepare everything before starting so that nothing gets overcooked.
Serves 2
cooking oil
 2 tbsp
sirloin or rump steak
 200g, thinly sliced
sugar snap peas
 120g (or mangetout, sliced courgettes or leafy greens)
oyster sauce
 3 tbsp
soy sauce
 4 tbsp
white wine or water
 a splash
black pepper
 a pinch
 1 clove, sliced
 ½, chopped
fresh pho (ho fun) noodles
 400g, separated (if using dry, cook according to package instructions)
 80g (optional)
For the dipping sauce (optional)
soy sauce
 3 tbsp
bird’s eye chilli
 1, sliced
Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan or wok over high heat until very hot, then fry the steak, sugar snaps, 1 tablespoon of the oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, a dash of the wine, the pepper and garlic for a couple of minutes or until the steak is cooked as you like it. Transfer the contents of the pan to a plate and allow to rest.
Heat another dash of oil in the pan again, then stir-fry the onion for a few seconds. Add the noodles and the remaining oyster and soy sauces. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the beansprouts and a dash more wine. Stir-fry for a further minute.
To make the dipping sauce, crush the chilli into the soy sauce with the back of a spoon. Serve the rested beef mixture and stir-fried noodles with the dipping sauce.
From My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99). To order a copy for £12.99 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99

Asma Khan’s yakhni pulau

 Asma Khan’s yakhni pulau. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Observer
Yakhni means “meat stock/broth”. Some of the spices and the name “yakhni” are Kashmiri but this dish is not made in Kashmir but in modern-day Uttar Pradesh – one of the theories about the origin of this pulau was that it was made in the palace of the ruler of Oudh (modern-day Lucknow) by Kashmiri cooks in the middle of the 19th century. This is a wonderful one pot dish to make – if you omit the fresh green chillies or add a couple of mild chillies, it is great for the entire family as children can also eat this easily. Use bone in chicken thighs for preparing the stock in which to cook the rice – don’t try and make it with boneless chicken or breast, as the stock will have absolutely no flavour. The essence of this dish is the yakhni – the delicate flavour of the stock which is absorbed by the rice. The pale colour of the pulao is very deceptive; it is packed with flavour and spices.
Feeds family of 6 or 4 hungry adults
basmati rice
 2 medium, finely sliced
 3 tbsp
skinless chicken thighs
 1kg, bone in, cut in half – ask your butcher to do this for you if you don’t have a cleaver
fresh green chillies
 2 or 3 (optional)
spice bag
 (see below)
 a sprig, for garnish (optional)
For the spice bag
 6 cloves, cut in half
fresh ginger
 5cm, cut into thick slices
green cardamom
 6 pods
cinnamon stick
 2 pieces, 2½cm each
black cardamom
 1 pod
bay leaves
 3 or 4
fennel seeds
 2 heaped tbsp
whole coriander seeds
 2 level tsp
Start by washing the basmati rice, then leave it covered in water to soak with half a teaspoon of salt. Place all the spice bag ingredients in an infuser bag or square of muslin or other clean coth and tie up tightly with kitchen string.
Next, fry the sliced onions in 3 tablespoons of oil till they are caramelised and golden brown. Remove the onions from the oil to prevent them from burning and spread them on a plate. Keep the heat on medium high and add the chicken to the pan and seal it in the hot oil. Return half the onions to the pan together with the spice bag (the bag should be tied securely so it does not open in the cooking process). The other half of the browned onions will be used as a garnish at the end. Add enough water to cover the chicken and season with salt (just as a rough guide, I usually use 2¼ teaspoons of salt). Once the water is boiling, lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid, and leave it to cook for 20 minutes. Half way through, check the chicken to make sure it is not falling apart!
After the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken gently with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate, in a single layer as much as possible to prevent the meat from coming off the bone. You will need approximately 960ml of yakhni for the 400g of rice. Reduce the stock or add some water if required to make it 960ml. My grandmother would squeeze the spice bag at this stage to get the last bit of flavour out of the spices. You can try that too, as long as you can do it without bursting the bag! You can remove the spice bag now. It has done its job.
Return the 960ml yakhni back to the pan. After that, take the rice out of the water it was soaking in and add to the stock, together with the chicken and green chillies if you are adding any.
Put the stock with the rice and chicken on medium-high flame. Once the stock is boiling, lower the flame, cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer. Check the rice often to see when the stock has been absorbed. The rice should be cooked but al dente (if that makes sense!).
At this point, remove the pan from direct heat and put the flame on a low setting and put the pan on an iron plate – a flat pan or tawa, or the closest thing you have to a tawa in your kitchen. The aim is for the heat to be diffused. If you do not have anything appropriate you could put the rice pot in a low oven for 10 minutes. Once you remove the rice from the heat source cover the top with a kitchen towel and leave the rice undisturbed for 10 minutes. Then serve garnished with the caramelised brown onions and sprig of mint.
As an accompaniment you could serve yakhni pulao with a raita or a salad.
Asma Khan is a cook and runs the
 Darjeeling Express supper club

Anna Jones’s kale, tomato and lemon magic one-pot spaghetti

 Anna Jone’s kale, tomato and lemon magic one-pot. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Observer
This pasta is a complete revelation. The sauce is magically made from the pasta water and tomatoes as the pasta cooks all in one pan. No fuss, one pan and a killer bowl of pasta.
Pasta and gluten sometimes get a bad press. I think there is a time and place for a good bowl of pasta – saying that, I opt for interesting pastas as often as I do the traditional kind. Try corn, chickpea or buckwheat spaghetti – they are gluten-free, all have incredible individual flavours and make a welcome change if pasta is a staple in your house.
The key to this recipe is to measure your water carefully and to use the right pan: you need a large shallow saute pan or a casserole large enough to fit the pasta lying down. A large deep frying pan or wok would work well too.
Serves 4 generously
spaghetti or linguine
cherry tomatoes
unwaxed lemons
 zest of 2 large
olive oil
sea salt
 2 heaped tsp (if you are using fine-grain table salt, add a bit less)
kale or spinach
parmesan cheese
 (I use a vegetarian one) (optional)
Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients and equipment together. You need a large shallow pan with a lid.
Put the pasta into the pan. Quickly and roughly chop the tomatoes in half and throw them into the pan. Grate in the zest of both lemons and add the oil and salt. Add a litre of boiling water, put a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the lid and simmer on a high heat for 6 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pasta every 30 seconds or so as it cooks.
Meanwhile, remove any tough stalks from the kale or spinach and roughly tear the leaves. Once the pasta has had 6 minutes, add the kale and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
Once almost all the water has evaporated, take the pan off the heat and tangle into four bowls. If you like, top with a little parmesan.
From A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones (4th Estate, £25). To order a copy for £20 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99

Nieves Barragán Mohacho’s prawn and piquillo tortilla

 Prawn and piquillo tortilla. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian
Serves 4 as a tapa or light lunch
olive oil
 1-2 tbsp
fresh prawns,
 16, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
vegetable oil
 750g, peeled and sliced into ½cm rounds
 600g, peeled and finely sliced
free-range eggs
 6 (best quality you can buy)
tinned or jarred piquillo peppers
 200g, drained and cut into ½cm strips
fresh chives
 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat in a 20cm diameter frying pan. Add the prawns and cook for 20-30 seconds, turning them over in the pan. Then remove and set aside.
Wipe the pan and then use to heat half the vegetable oil until it is just beginning to smoke. Add half the potatoes and onions and fry, stirring often, for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for a little, then take out the potatoes and onions with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the other half of the oil, potatoes and onions – alternatively you can do this in one go in a heavy bottomed saucepan or wok for speed, but I do it in two batches in my tortilla pan at home.
Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add all the potatoes, onions, prawns, piquillo peppers and chives and season well with salt and pepper.
Wipe the pan again and heat a little olive oil. Add the egg mixture and cook over a medium heat until it is just beginning to set – about 5 minutes. Place a large plate over the frying pan and carefully tip both plate and pan over so that the tortilla ends up on the plate. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat the procedure twice more, cooking for about another 5 minutes on each side.
The tortilla should still be a little bit runny in the middle.

Nasi lemak gets updated

SINGAPORE - The ubiquitous fragrant rice dish of nasi lemak - commonly served with ikan bilis, egg, chicken wing and a dollop of sambal belacan - is a perennial hawker favourite.
The humble dish is getting a modern spin in what chef Shen Tan calls a "nasi lemak renaissance".
No fewer than five new players have entered the scene in the past four months, each with a fresh spin on it. These include Folding Rice at Junction Nine mall in Yishun, The Coconut Club in Ann Siang Hill and Village Nasi Lemak Bar in Circular Road, which opens next week.
They add to nasi lemak institutions such as the stalls in Changi Village; Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak at Boon Lay Place Food Village; and Ponggol Nasi Lemak in Jalan Besar, Upper Serangoon Road and Tanjong Katong Road.
Business owners and chefs note the nostalgia factor of nasi lemak and reminisce over the times when it came wrapped in banana leaf and cost $1 or less.
For The Coconut Club's chef Lee Eng Su, 37, nasi lemak is not just a dish, but also a "cuisine". After attending a nasi lemak convention in Kuala Lumpur in 2014, he was inspired to work on his own version.