Friday, August 10, 2012

Indian Basmati Rice

Holy cow was this delicious!  I must preface this by saying that I was never a rice fan until recent years, when I learned how to make rice tasty.   Rice to me was always something of a bland side dish, only gaining flavor if I smothered it in some kind of sauce.  My Columbian co-workers taught me how they made rice and once I adopted their techniques, I never looked at rice the same way again.

Back to the post at hand...
For camp last week we made Indian Basmati Rice.  I had never made a rice that was as seasoned as this, but I have eaten it at restaurants and loved it.  Basically, once you have the spices, it is super easy.

the spices used

The first thing you MUST do is soak the rice to get rid of the starchiness.  The recipe called for soaking it once, but I had heard while watching Food Network's Aarti Party that you should do so a few times until the water is no longer cloudy.  (Or perhaps I imagined this, but I am pretty sure she said that.)
soaking rice
Add oil to the pot with the spices and let heat for a minute or two.  Add the thinly sliced onions and cook until lightly browned.  This takes several minutes, but it is so worth being patient.  The browned onions give such depth to the flavor.
Not yet browned.

Add the rice and cook until toasted, just a few minutes.  Add the salt and water, bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer.  Seriously, it is that easy and so delicious!  At camp we topped it with curried vegetables (which I did not love, hence no recipe) and when I made it at home I topped it with my slow cooker pulled chicken.  Lilly loved it so much she did not even notice the cumin seeds or the onions!

After cooking, before fluffing with a fork.

Indian Basmati Rice recipe from All Recipes
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 pods green cardamom
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • Directions
Place rice into a bowl with enough water to cover. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and cumin seed. Cook and stir for about a minute, then add the onion to the pot. Saute the onion until a rich golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the water from the rice, and stir into the pot. Cook and stir the rice for a few minutes, until lightly toasted. Add salt and water to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

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