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Cooking up a Vegetarian Indian Feast Part 1: Traditional Indian Basmati Rice

When Anne asked me if I’d guest blog for her I didn’t even have to stop and think about it.  My immediate response was absolutely!  I fell in love with Anne’s blog from the moment I stumbled upon it.  Her recipes are always delicious, creative and easy enough for even beginner cooks to assemble and enjoy.  And then there’s Anne.  She’s witty, smart, fun and one of the nicest people you’ll have the pleasure of meeting.  I love that Anne lives in the same place I grew up vacationing to as a child.  We’ve shared several personal connections along the way that have helped to make her into the awesome blogging friend that she is to me today.  Thanks so much for welcoming me to your blog Anne!

The story behind this meal started back a month or so ago when I decided to have a couple of friends, Kate and Ekata, over for a playdate .  Kate and I had been asking Ekata to share with us some of her delicious Indian recipes so we decided the playdate would be a cooking playdate for the adults in addition to the traditional playdate for the boys (we have 6 boys between the three of us; yes it was a crazy house for a few hours).

Ekata picked out four different Indian foods to cook; daal, Aloo Ghobhi, traditional Indian rice, and roti.  Kate and I agreed to be Sous chefs and Ekata got to work on cooking up the grub.  With no recipes to work off of and a combination of ingredients she brought from home and a bit of scrounging in my pantry, she put together a lunch fit for a 5 star Indian restaurant.

Ekata showed us everything from what type of spices to buy and where to find the best ones, to how to roll a perfect roti.

We ended the playdate with full tummies and a new found appreciation and knowledge of Indian food.  So, of course, I knew the minute my house cleared out that I would definitely be trying to repeat the magical meal that just occurred within my four walls.

As it turns out, I attempted two of the four dishes and threw in one of my own for good measure.  Today we’ll be focusing on the staple for all indian food; the traditional indian rice.  Are you ready?  Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients Needed:

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Vegetable Broth (not pictured but definitely needed!)
1 Cup of Basmati Rice (White or Brown)
1/2 of a Cinnamon Stick
1/2 tsp of Salt
1/4 tsp of Cardamon
1 tsp of Cumin Seeds (you can use Ground Cumin)
1/4 tsp of Ground Cloves
1 Small Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Carrot, Chopped
1/2 Cup of Peas

First up, grab your cup of rice and let it soak, completely covered in water.

While your rice is soaking, grab a large saucepan and heat up your olive oil on medium high heat.  To the hot oil add the cinnamon stick, salt, cardamon, cumin seeds and cloves.  Cook it up for 1 to 2 minutes.

Follow up the spices with the addition of your onion and garlic.  Cook that up until the onions are well cooked; about 5 to 7 minutes.

Hopefully your kitchen already is starting to smell like a delicious Indian restaurant!  Grab your soaking rice, drain the water out, and throw it into your saute pan.  Spin it around for a few minutes and allow the rice to brown up a touch.

Add in the vegetable broth, bring it to a boil and then cover and simmer on low heat; 40 minutes for brown basmati and 20 minutes for white.

About 5 minutes before it’s finished, go ahead and throw in your chopped carrots and peas.  Let them cook with the rice for the final 5 minutes.  And here’s what you’ve got when all is said and done.

Just look at the cinnamon stick over in the corner smiling at you with all it’s delicious flavor!  I’m telling you, this is one delicious plate of rice.  Dig in and enjoy!

Traditional Indian Basmati Rice

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Vegetable Broth (not pictured but definitely needed!)
1 Cup of Basmati Rice (White or Brown)
1/2 of a Cinnamon Stick
1/2 tsp of Salt
1/4 tsp of Cardamon
1 tsp of Cumin Seeds (you can use Ground Cumin)
1/4 tsp of Ground Cloves
1 Small Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Carrot, Chopped
1/2 Cup of Peas

Directions:

First up, grab your cup of rice and let it soak, completely covered in water.

While your rice is soaking, grab a large saucepan and heat up your olive oil on medium high heat. To the hot oil add the cinnamon stick, salt, cardamon, cumin seeds and cloves. Cook it up for 1 to 2 minutes.

Follow up the spices with the addition of your onion and garlic. Cook that up until the onions are well cooked; about 5 to 7 minutes.

Grab your soaking rice, drain the water out, and throw it into your saute pan. Spin it around for a few minutes and allow the rice to brown up a touch.

Add in the vegetable broth, bring it to a boil and then cover and simmer on low heat; 40 minutes for brown basmati and 20 minutes for white.

About 5 minutes before it's finished, go ahead and throw in your chopped carrots and peas. Let them cook with the rice for the final 5 minutes.