February 18, 2010

Ghee Rice II

If mutton stew is around, can ghee rice be far behind?
Ghee rice is pretty common in most houses now.. If it's a party ..well, then, lets make ghee rice and a plethora of dishes to go with it, veg or nonveg based. Sunday lunches in my mom's house tended towards biryani during my days there but lazy me, opts for ghee rice and a curry to celebrate the weekend. The winter doesn't help.. we almost stop eating rice as plain rice in the cold weather and only the pulavs and fried rice seems to satisfy. So here is another version of the typical Malabar style ghee rice.

Back home, I  don't really recall that the  ghee rice is decorated with fried onions as we decorate the biryani but it does add to the taste, so sometimes I do it. Have any of you tried the golden fried onions that you get at Indian stores? They are a pretty good substitute for the curries and for haleem etc, but for ghee rice, I prefer fresh fried ones.

You will need:
Basmati rice - 2 cups or 500 gm
Onions - 1 sliced
Cloves -2
Cardamom -2 pods
Cinnamon -2 inch long thin piece
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 2 tbsp
Olive oil or vegetable oil-3 tbsp
Water- 3 3/4 cups. Heat to a boiling point separately.
Salt- 1 tsp (approx.)

For Garnish:
Roast Cashews- 2 tbsp,(use roasted or fry white ones)
Golden Raisin- 1-2 tbsp
Cilantro-fresh only- 1/2 cup chopped
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Onion- 1/2 cup, sliced very finely

Prepare garnish and keep aside. Fry the thinly sliced onions in a mix of ghee-oil(not the same used for the rice)on medium heat till browned evenly. Fry the cashews till they turn light brown..remove and then fry the raisins till they plump up and remove and reserve. The fried onions are optional.

1. Clean, wash and drain the rice. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes before draining.
2. Heat the ghee and oil together in a saute pan and add the onion, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
3. Fry only till the onion turns transparent.
Add the wet rice without water and fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring all the time till the rice turns opaque. Add the ginger garlic paste and stir well for another minute.
4. Add hot water and salt. Let the liquid come to a good boil .Then cover and lower the heat to a simmer.
5. Cook for 10 minutes on medium to low heat and check if all the water is absorbed from the surface. Turn off the heat but keep the pan covered for another 5-10 mins.
6. Fluff the rice gently and garnish with the cilantro, fried cashews and raisins and a sprinkling of garam masala and fried onions.

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