Basmati Rice Recipes

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Pulao Recipe (Indian Vegetable Rice) Recipe

Pulao is an Indian rice dish filled with sabji ("vegetables" in Urdu). In this version, I flavored the rice with only three vegetables: lima beans, carrots and green peas. Lima beans are packed with protein and are very filling. The combination of lima beans and rice makes a perfectly balanced meal for a vegetarian diet.

I served this one-dish meal family style with raita or chutney on the side. This weekend, we prepared a large pot and everything was gone at the end of lunch time! My favorite is the fried "burnt" rice at the bottom of the pot, called kurchan.


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How to Cook Basmati Rice Recipe

How to Cook Basmati Rice

04.15.10 by Jackie

Ah, basmati rice. I don't think there is a food that better represents the similarities and differences of Indian Subcontinent and East Asian cultures. Rice is the staple starch in both of these Asian regions, but the preparation couldn't be more different. In the Far East, sticky jasmine rice is typically prepared with every meal. Chopsticks are the utensil of choice, which helps explain the popularity of rice that can stay clumped together on the journey from the bowl to the mouth.

By contrast, the quality of cooked basmati rice is judged primarily by how separate the grains remain. Traditionally, people of the subcontinent eat with their hands, and the various dals and kormas do a great job of creating cohesion.

Preparing basmati rice at home is not nearly as challenging as it may seem, but as is the case with many simple dishes, precision and care are required. Like pasta, if it's cooked past "al dente", basmati rice will become mushy.

I didn't have much experience with basmati rice until I got married. After more than five years, I have not only learned how to make it, I have come to love it. In our home, we make both sticky Asian jasmine rice and Indian basmati rice everyday to satisfy the different palates. We typically eat it with dal, but the girls love to have basmati rice with a little butter and sumac. Sumac is a common Middle Eastern spice and has a deep reddish, purple color. You can see it sprinkled over the rice in the photos.

If you don't have well cooked basmati rice on a regular basis, you don't know what you're missing. I know that for a long time I didn't!


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Persian Basmati Rice with Raisins and Saffron Recipe

Recently we went to the home of  family friends for dinner. They made us an absolutely amazing home cooked Persian meal.  If I had known about all the incredible dishes that I was going to get to sample, I would have brought my camera to post them here!

One dish in particular that really stood out was the rice. Every culture that eats rice has its own particular method and manner of preparation. In our home, we make both sticky Asian jasmine rice and Indian basmati rice to satisfy the different palates.

What's different about this Persian rice recipe is that it's not just a neutral medium for delivering the flavors of a main course. It is prepared in such a way that it is delicious on its own. Cooked basmati rice forms the base, but to this are added saffron, fried onions, butter, and flavored raisins. The final product is ethereal, yet rich.

I've had it at restaurants many times, but never with the care and quality that was put into this preparation. as if that weren't enough, we also had another Persian rice recipe made with dill, but that's another post...


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How to Cook Perfect Wild Rice Recipe

How to Cook Perfect Wild Rice

05.20.09 by Jackie

In cooking, there is a difference between simple and easy. Easy recipes don't require a lot of skill to prepare. Then, there are recipes that are simple: that is to say that there are few ingredients, but the preparation of the ingredients may be very complex.

Cooking rice is as much an art as it is a science. I remember watching a program when chef Morimoto talked about how difficult it is to prepare properly seasoned sushi rice. I'm no expert at making sushi rice but I do make a lot of brown, basmati,  jasmine and wild rice for my husband. If cooked improperly, wild rice can taste like horse food. But it doesn't have to be that way, I've discovered some method and techniques that will produce a softer, more delicate end product . Just because wild rice is good for you doesn't mean that it can't taste good as well.

A special note: The wild rice in the picture was given by my father-in-law's friends from Minnesota.

Wild Rice Product


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Lima Beans Paneer and Saffron Basmati Rice (Vegetarian Biryani) Recipe

Vegetarian biryani is a vegetable curry with saffron basmati rice. This dish is truly authentic Indian cuisine. I always make Biryani when we have a big crowd at home. Indian food is meant to be eaten by a big group.

Paneer is an Indian cheese that you commonly fry and add to rice or vegetables. It is pretty firm and does not melt when heated. The kids love vegetarian biryani and the saffron color brings a nice ...The same dish, when prepared with meat (usually mutton, goat or chicken), is traditional wedding fare.  One of Lulu's uncles told me that if he goes to a large Indian function and doesn't get biryani he feels cheated.


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