Monday, January 23, 2017



One of the most fragrant dishes is this rice that we had as children.  Of course no one can replicate the way my mother made it, but here's my version.


2 cups Basmati rice.
4 cups water.
1 cup sliced onion.
1 " piece ginger grated.
6 cloves garlic grated/mashed/ground
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 tsp ghee.
1/2 cup frozen or half cooked fresh peas.
1 inch piece cinnamon
5 cloves
3 cardamom pods
2 small bay leaves.
1/3 tsp saffron.
Peel of one orange.
Salt to taste.

Wash rice well and soak in four cups water.  After 10 mins drain and reserve the water.
Heat oil, add cinnamon, cloves (after removing pod on top), cardamom and bay leaves.
Let it fry on medium till it changes color, then add ghee and fry for another minute.
(At this point, kids should be running into the kitchen and saying, "What's for lunch?)
Remove all spices from oil, place in reserved water and bring to a boil.
(I do this as people here are not used to eating with our spices and some chew on them!)
Drain and reserve water.  Put saffron into it.
In the pan with the oil fry the onions till golden brown.
Add ginger and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes.
(At this point kids should come in and say, "When can we eat?")
Add the drained rice and peas and fry for 5 mins on medium heat.
Add salt to taste, water with saffron.
At this stage transfer to a rice cooker or follow these steps.
Bring rice and water to a boil then lower heat to medium, cover pan leaving one side open and cook for 8 minutes.
Uncover, fluff rice with a fork.
If all the water isn't absorbed, cover and let it cook on medium low for another 3-4 minutes.
Keep lid on till everyone comes to the table and then open the dish so everyone can enjoy the aroma of the pilau before they eat it.
If re-heating in microwave do the same thing.
Serve with kurma.

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