I'm not a very "rice" person....plain rice, that is. I much prefer rice in its more glamorous avatars of pulaos (or pilaf!), biriyani, ghee rice, fried rice....and of course, jeera rice! I can have jeera rice with almost anything. I've searched high and low for an authentic-tasting jeera rice recipe (the kind you get in North Indian restaurants) and finally hit the jackpot with this one, which I saw on a TV show. I don't recall the name of the show or the chef, unfortunately. This is perfect for seasoned cooks and amateurs alike. Its especially perfect for those rainy afternoon lunches!
To serve 2
- 3 to 4 tablespoons butter or ghee
- 2 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
- 4 cloves
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 to 3 green chillies, slit
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander (dhaniya) powder
- 1 cup rice (basmati or any other), washed, soaked for at least 15 minutes, and drained well.
- 2 cups water, boiling hot
- Salt to taste
- In a pan, heat the butter or ghee.
- When hot, switch to low flame and add the cumin seeds, wait till they splutter and become darker.
- Then add in the cloves, cardamom, bayleaf, pepper, green chillies, curry leaves.
- When the green chillies change color and the curry leaves wither, add the cumin-coriander powder and stir till the aroma of the powders wafts through.
- Now add the drained rice and stir around till you can see some of the rice starting to pop up and down (my grandmother's tip). The rice will also take on a glossy tint.
- That's the sign for you to add the hot water and salt. Just give it a good stir and cover.
- Let it simmer until all the water has been absorbed. Do not stir with a spoon to check. Use a fork to fluff it up, so that the grains remain unbroken.
- Serve hot with dal or chicken/mutton curry.
- You could also cook the rice separately, without any of the spices or powders.
- Just boil the water and add the rice to it, cover and simmer till done.
- In another pan, prepare the rest of the ingredients, as above.
- Add the cooked rice and mix well to combine.
- Or, just use a rice cooker or pressure cooker to cook the rice. Mix with the tempering and you're done!
This recipe is perfect to spruce up leftover rice.