Tired of the same old, same old, regular steamed rice with your dinners? Try mixing it up a little making this South Indian Ghee rice dish. It goes well with almost any Indian curry or dish with gravy.
I grew up in Norway and the one thing that was almost always on the table was potatoes. Boiled potatoes. We were served them with the skin on and had to peel them ourselves. The first time I ever left Norway I was 18 years old, and I went to Greece for a vacation. They did not serve boiled potatoes at any restaurants in Greece. Boiled potatoes were nowhere to be found. I did not know what to do, he he. The first thing I did when I came back to Norway after two weeks in Greece was to boil myself 8 potatoes. I enjoyed them with nothing but a little salt and butter on.
That was a long time ago, and I must say that since then my taste buds have wandered and evolved and today I can totally live without boiled potatoes and I very rarely eat them. Although, I have to admit that when I do, I really enjoy them!
Living in India awakened my taste buds to all kinds of rice dishes. Rice Biriyani for example. But also other rice side dishes they served with their curries and other delicious Indian meals. This South Indian Ghee Rice is a simple twist on a rice side that is just a little more interesting than plain steamed rice.
Here is how you make it:
1. Wash the rice grains 2-3 times in water to remove excess starch (this means put the rice in a bowl or pot, add water, empty the water)... instead I put the grains into a colander and just let the water since the rice. Then let them soak in water for about 20 minutes. This removes the starch from the rice and prevent them from becoming to sticky. After 20 minutes drain the rice to get rid of the water.
2. Heat ghee in a pot on medium high heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black peppercorns and a piece of bay leaf and sauté for few seconds.
3. Reduce the heat to medium, add chopped onion and sauté until it turns light golden brown.
4. Reduce the heat to low and add cashew nuts, raisins, crushed ginger-garlic and chopped green chillies and sauté on low heat for a minute. Add the drained rice to the pot and cook for a minute before adding the water. Bring to a boil and let it boil for a couple of minutes on high before turning the heat to medium low. Cover and let it cook without stirring until done (approximately 15 minutes).
Here is what you need:
1 cup Basmati rice
1 tablespoon Ghee (Clarified butter, or you can use butter)
1 small Cinnamon stick
1 Cardamom pod
½ teaspoon Black Whole Peppercorns
1 Small Indian Bay Leaf - "Teja Patta" (“Teja Patta” comes from the Cassia Tree and not from the Laurel Tree that Western Bay Leaves come from. If you don't have Indian Bay Leaf, leave it out or you can add either a little Cassia Bark, 1/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon, or 1 extra clove instead.)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4-5 Cashew Nuts
3-4 Raisins (optional)
½ - 1 inch Grated or Crushed Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
1 Green Chili, finely chopped
2 cups of Water
½ teaspoon salt