This is an utterly fool proof method for cooking perfect boiled basmati rice. Not quite as exotic as our Pilau rice recipe but much more straight forward.
- 1 mug of washed Basmati rice
- 2 mugs of fresh, cold water
- 1 tsp. Fennel seeds
- 1 pinch of Salt
Wash the basmati rice in plenty of fresh water, we find the simplest way to do this is pop the rice in a sieve and run it under the cold tap until the water runs clear.
Now add all of the ingredient to a suitable size pan and slowly bring it all to the boil. Stir only now and again to stop it sticking, you don’t want to release too much starch from the rice or it will go sticky. As soon as the rice comes to the boil, give it one last stir, pop a lid on and turn the heat down to the lowest setting, let the rice simmer for exactly ten minutes. After ten minutes the water level should have dropped below the surface of the rice, move the pan off the heat and leave it to sit with the lid on for a further twenty minutes. After the twenty minutes resting time the rice will be perfectly steamed and still nice and hot, fluff it up with a fork and serve.
- Precooked meat or vegetables
- 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
- ¼ Onion, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp. Methi leaves
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 tbsp. Flaked almonds
- ½ tsp. Fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp. Coriander, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp. Mix powder
- 1 Portion of cooked Pilau rice
Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onion. Stir for a few minutes and then add the salt, methi leaves and flaked almonds. Add the precooked meat or vegetables then add the coriander, fennel seeds and mix powder; continue stirring for a few minutes. Add the pilau rice and heat thoroughly before garnishing with some more coriander and serving.
This dish is often served with a small, basic vegetable curry, normally a vegetable Bhuna or similar. As a garnish some restaurants use lightly fried slices of banana, sultanas and raisins, or even a basic omelette placed over the dish.
- 500g Basmati rice
- 4 tbsp. Vegetable oil
- 4 Cloves
- 9 Green cardamom pods
- 2″ Stick of cassia bark or cinamo
- Food colouring red, yellow, green
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1.5l Water
Firstly, pour all of the rice into a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Leave the rice to drain and elongate for around 5 minutes.
Place a pan on the heat and boil up the water. In another large casserole dish add the oil and start warming gently.
Add the whole spices (cardamom pods, cassia bark etc) to the oil and stir continuously for 30 seconds or so. Add the rice and stir around the pan for about a minute, ensure that all grains are coated in the spiced oil.
Add the boiling water from the other pan and stir continuously to stop the rice from sticking to the casserole dish. Add the salt and continue stirring.
Bring to the boil and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking. You will know when the rice is nearly cooked as the grains will be soft on the outside, but still firm on the inside “Al Dente”. As soon as the rice is like this, drain it into a sieve and allow it to steam over the casserole dish for 5 minutes at least.
Now spread the rice over a clean baking tray in a thin layer. Using a tea spoon, dot the different food colourings over the rice in small drops. Then transfer the tray to a fridge to cool and for the food colouring agents to set. This will take at least an hour. During this cooling stage the rice will dry and the grains will separate.
When you are ready to serve simply fluff the rice up with a fork, transfer it to a bowl or serving dish, cover with cling film and heat in a microwave on full power for a few minutes until the rice is steaming. Alternatively, wrap the baking tray in tin foil and place in a hot oven until piping hot.
Optional ingredients include Star Anise, Cumin Seeds, Fennel Seeds, sugar and anything else you wish to add really.
An alternative to boiling the water in a pan is to use a kettle if it’s large enough, either way the water must be boiling when it is added, not cold and then brought up to the boil with the rice.