Aromatic Indian Rice Recipe
Fragrant exotic Indian Rice recipe using toasted whole spices, just like they use in India!
Rice is one of those ingredients that would be very difficult for me to give up.
Whether it’s jasmine, basmati, or wild rice, the smell and texture are endearing and alluring to me. In fact, most of my favorite comfort foods revolve around rice.
There are rice dishes, and then there are rice dishes.
This particular rice dish is the latter… light, fluffy, aromatic, and bursting with intense flavor, making it so much more than a side dish.
To make Indian style rice, you could always boil up a pot of rice and add a little curry powder. The difference in this Indian rice dish, is that we aren’t using curry powder, the blend of dried spices regularly used in Indian cooking.
Instead, we’re using whole individual spices to create vibrant complexity with delicately balanced exotic tones. Sound appealing?
If you like playing with spices, you are going to love this!
I started with whole fenugreek seeks, whole cumin seeds, cardamom pods, ginger, garlic, whole cinnamon and the cherry on top…. Real curry leaves.
You can find curry leaves (along with the fenugreek and cardamom pods) at high-quality grocery chains, and at international markets.
I love digging through those little strip-mall markets for lesser known ingredients like this. Totally worth the drive and time, in my opinion.
Sautéing whole spices to release their flavors into the butter, is the key to building a better Indian rice dish.
Once the fenugreek seeds have softened, add the rice and water. Then boil the rice as directed.
The final touch to this amazing Indian rice dish it to prepare flash-fried curry leaves. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet. Once it’s hot, add the curry leaves and stand back. Fresh herbs contain lots of moisture and will pop! Once the curry leaves have fried for 10-20 seconds, scoop them out of the skillet, drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
Top the Indian rice with the crispy curry leaves, and be ready to breath a deep sign of satisfaction when you taste it.
Colorful, rich, and zesty with a deep floral flavor from the basmati rice and tantalizing crispy curry leaves mingled throughout.
Indian Rice goes well with
Chicken Tikka Masala – Indian Simmer
Kale Pakora – Kiran Tarun
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons ghee clarified butter
- 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 4 cardamom pods cracked
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 dried chile pepper bird, serrano, cayenne...
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup whole fresh curry leaves
- Heat a large pot over medium to medium-low heat. Add the ghee, onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom pods, cinnamon, chile, fenugreek, and cumin seeds. Saute until the onions are soft and the fenugreek seeds have started to soften, about 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the rice, turmeric, salt and water. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and lower the heat again to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the rice has absorbed the water and there are steam holes in the top of the rice. Fluff the rice with a fork, cover and set aside to steam for 5-10 more minutes.
- Add the oil to a small skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's very hot, add the curry leaves and step back--herbs contain a lot of moisture and will pop when frying. Fry the curry leaves for 10-20 seconds, just long enough for the popping to stop. Then scoop them out of the oil and and place them on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle the curry leaves with salt. When ready to serve, scoop the rice into a large bowl, removing the cardamom pods, chile, and cinnamon stick. Top with flash fried curry leaves and serve warm.
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