Contains: Fascinating Indian flavors, optional dairy (ghee). Is: Gluten-free, vegetarian, potentially vegan.
The idea of flavored rice truly appealed to me, especially for eating in combination with Indian dishes – or perhaps on its own. I had leftover okra curry, and since most folk DO serve their curry over rice, and I am low carb rather than keto… why not?
For Indian foods, I prefer to use white Basmati rices. There are all sorts of discussions out there about whether brown or white rice is “healthier”. For rice, there are pros and cons either way – so I use what I prefer for a specific dish. For me, Indian is always this white Basmati… One thing I do try to do is buy rice grown in the US as opposed to Asia as there is often a higher level of arsenic in the Asian soil, which for whatever reason is rapidly absorbed into growing rice. (Not because of pollution, just naturally occurring.) But even this I don’t make a hard and fast rule – there’s still some in Californian soils, too.
My best luck in making rice is by using my Japanese rice cooker, so that’s what I’m going to do. (Burnt too much rice to the bottom of pans back in the day… not going back there, and Basmati rice cooks well in one of these cookers…)
The cumin is best added as roasted seeds, for the best in flavor. There are places for the powder, but this isn’t necessarily one of those. Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) is something I’ve had hanging around my kitchen for a couple other recipes, and I do like the quiet flavor it adds in uttapam pancakes, so why not? Curry leaves (not to be mistook for curry per se), add a rich earthy flavor where one uses them.
If I could have found where I’d stashed the (recently-purchased) saffron, I would have added two or three crushed threads – feel free!
So, this dish is by no means highly spiced (as in hot). In fact, if you think Indian foods are nearly all heat, this is one dish that is not.
I am serving this with my past Friday okra, mushroom, tomato and onion vegetarian curry, with at least one remaining serving.
Prep Time: 25 minutes, includes soaking.
Cook Time: 1 minute for the cumin. 45 minutes (in my rice cooker).
Rest Time: Oh, five minutes or so, but it can hang out in the rice cooker if other things need to be prepped further.
Leftovers: I’m fine with rice same day.
Rice Flavored with Cumin (Jeera) and Fenugreek (Methi)
- 1/2 cup Basmati rice
- 0.875 cups/ 210 mL liquid (or to package specifications). I used 0.5 cups water plus 0.375 cups veggie broth (to equal 0.875 cups volume); play around to preference.
- 1 tablespoon ghee or, for dairy-free/vegan, use a high heat cooking oil.
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera. I am using the smaller kala jeera seeds.
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried fenugreek (methi) leaves.
- 2-4 curry leaves, crumbled.
- Salt, to taste.
OPTIONAL special equipment: a rice maker. Otherwise follow package instructions and make this dish in a covered stove pot.
Soak and/or rinse rice as directed.
Add to the rice cooker, with the appropriate volume of liquid. I used a water/veggie broth combination to bring to volume.
In my case, I let my rice soak in that specific volume for the specified 20 minutes before turning the cooker on. Meanwhile I prepped the rest of the ingredients.
In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee (or your favorite high heat healthy cooking oil), medium high.
Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
Watching the saucepan, allow the seeds to sizzle and roast a little. When aroma is released, you are done here.
Scrape them into the soaking rice.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the rice.
When ready, turn on the rice cooker to “regular” (or to whatever your rice cooker instructions indicates is that level of “cooked”. Let it do its thing until done.
Gently mix when done and ready to serve. My cooker came with its own spoon / mix-a-ma-jig; it is designed to help break up clumps of rice without mashing it.
Eat as-is, or top with your favorite (or to-hand) Indian main.
For me, rice tends to dry out funky if not eaten within 24 hours, and even adding in more sauces or toppings doesn’t quite restore the original quality. Your taste buds may differ.
PS: The aromas are awesome whilst cooking!
Blog Hops and Blog Parties:
- Full Plate Thursday.
- Fiesta Friday. Current co-hosts are: Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Rita @ Parsi Cuisine.
Oh, adjacent photos of the rice with the curry from last Friday: