Monday, January 25, 2010

Fragrant Coconut-Cumin Rice

This is a delicious and simple rice recipe that goes well with any spicy curry. I made this to go with some pan-fried tilapia I'll serve later this week. Don't expect an explosion of flavors with this one. The coconut milk gives the rice a subtle flavor but the dish is delicious and very aromatic.

1 cup basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes and washed until the water runs relatively clear. Drain and keep aside.
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 bayleaf (optional)
2-3 cloves (optional)
1 black cardamom or 2 green cardamoms (lightly crushed)
1 cup canned coconut milk Stir the can before adding)
1 cup water
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
2 tsbp cilantro for garnish


Heat oil in a saute pan. When hot, add onion, cumin seeds and ginger. Saute until the onion gets translucent. Now add the whole spices (if using) and saute for 1 minute until you can smell the spices. Add drained basmati rice and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add a little more oil if needed and do not let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan. Do not skip this step as it is needed to enable the grains of rice to separate and not get clumpy.

Add water, coconut milk and salt. Bring to a boil, and immediately cover and set the stove to the lowest temperature available. Cook about 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated and the rice has cooked. Keep covered about 5 minutes more. After 5 minutes, uncover and fluff the top gently with a fork. Do not move it too much at this stage as it will break. Let cool a little and then fluff with a fork. Stir in the cilantro and enjoy!

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