This tasty rice dish would go well with a wide variety of dishes from the Indian subcontinent. The brown sugar and molasses give it a hint of sweetness to take away some of the heat of the dishes you might be eating with this, and also gives it a nice, slightly sticky consistency.
Be sure to use good-quality saffron, preferably from Spain. It's expensive, but a little goes a long way.
Wash the rice in cool water until the water is absolutely clear.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, steeped in 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 6 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1" piece of a cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of ground coriander
- Pinch of ground cardamom
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the ghee or oil and saute the cinnamon and cloves briefly to release some of the essential oils. Add the onions, cooking them until they're soft. Do not brown.
Add the rice and stir for 5 minutes until the grains are golden. Add the stock, sugar, molasses, salt, coriander and cardamom. Stir to combine, making sure the sugar and molasses are dissolved. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Add the saffron and its water; stir gently.
Cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve!
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)