Monday, October 25, 2010

Fragrant Rice Pilau

I do not know if I missed any of the spices in my pantry, for this super fragrant pilau seems to have it all: coriander, cumin, fennel, black pepper, black cardamom, cinnamon, clove....How else can you get a complex, exotic bouquet in just one dish? I was certainly not shy about this one.  Please try it for yourself!

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (fresh or frozen): peas, green beans, carrots, corn
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seed
  •  ½ tablespoon crushed black pepper
  •  ¼ tablespoon crushed black cardamom
  • 6-8 clove buds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt

    To garnish:
  • 2 dry red chili peppers, seeds removed
  • 2 sticks (2”each ) cinnamon
  • 8-10 curry leaves.

  1.  Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadai at medium heat. 
  2. Fry the chili, cinnamon sticks and curry leaves for about 10 seconds each, one ingredient at a time. Set aside.
  3. Add all the spices in the same oil, fry for about fifteen seconds or till seeds splatter, making sure they do not burn.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, fry for another minute or so, till well incorporated in the spice mixture.
  5. Add the vegetables to the spice and tomato mixture and fry for 2 minutes, until tender.
  6. Add the rice to the spice, tomato and vegetable mixture and fry for a minute, constantly mixing.
  7. Add water, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until desired texture, stirring the pilau occasionally so it does not stick to the pan.
  8. Serve the pilau hot, garnish with the fried chili, cinnamon and curry leaves.

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