Monday, June 13, 2011

Indian Basmati Rice Pilaf

I love the Indian rice pilaf that is served in the restaurants. But it never occured to me to look up the recipe. Go figure. However, I heard my friend, Kiran, tell one of our co-workers how to cook rice the Indian way. Unfortunately, I was only able to get bits and pieces of how its done. What I do remember is that the rice must be rinsed thoroughly until the water runs clear and soaked for a while to get rid of the starch, so the rice wouldn't be sticky. Asian rice is normally so sticky that "you can build a house with it," as hubby would say. Indian rice pilaf is soft and fluffy.

I decided to incorporate Kiran's method of cooking the rice with this recipe from Epicurious. It turned out delicious. A lot of the Indian restaurants cook their rice with spices such as cumin seeds. I'll attempt that next time. This rice would go great with my Chicken Tikka Masala or kabobs, which is what I'm making for dinner tonight.

2 cups Basmati rice
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 1/3 cups water
1 tsp. salt

1) Rinse rice several times until the water runs clear. Soak rice in fresh water for about 20 minutes. Drain well through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside.

2) In a 4 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Stir in water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower heat to low. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

3) Remove from heat. Let stand, uncovered and undisturbed for 5 minutes. Fluff rice gently with a fork and serve.

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