Sea-Scallop Mulligatawny

2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups half-and-half
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoons curry powder, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, sliced
1 1/2 pounds large, dry-packed sea scallops
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish
1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, combine the rice with 4 cups water, the butter and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork to make sure water has been absorbed. If not, return to heat and cook for another 2 minutes or just until all water is absorbed. Place a paper towel over top of pot, then cover pot with lid (paper towel will absorb water so rice doesn't get soggy).

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until onion is translucent, stirring often. Whisk in the half-and-half and coconut milk, then bring liquid to a simmer and cook until it begins to thicken, for about 5 minutes.

Add the apples, ginger, curry powder, remaining salt, pepper and water chestnuts; continue to simmer until apples are barely tender, for about 8 minutes. Add the scallops and continue to simmer until scallops are plump, opaque and just firm (but not overcooked). Adjust seasoning, adding additional curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon hot rice into bottom of each large, wide soup bowl, then ladle on a serving of soup. Garnish each serving with some of the sour cream and cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe adapted from "Cooking With the Seafood Steward," by Gary Rainer Puetz.


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