Vegetable rice

Posted on July 9, 2009. Filed under: Chawal/rice/pulao/biryani | Tags: , |

Ingredients
basmati rice measured to the 450ml/15fl oz/2cup level in a measuring jug
2.5cm/1in mace blade
3 cardamom pods
3 cloves
2.5cm/1in cinnamon stick
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 fresh hot green chillies, coarsley chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1cm/½in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsley chopped
4tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, cut in half lengthways and finely sliced
1 meduim-large red onion (100g/4oz), finely sliced
570ml/1 pintchicken stock
3 tbsp coconut milk, well stirred from a can or thick fresh milk
1 tsp salt
5 raw cashew nuts, split in halves
1 tsp sultanas

Method
1. Wash the rice in several changes of water, until the water runs clean. Drain. Cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Put the mace, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns into a clean coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
3. Put the chillies, garlic, ginger and 3 tbsp of water into the container of an electric blender and blend to a fine paste. Set aside.
4. Heat 3 tbsp of the ghee or oil in a large, wide, preferably non-stick pan over a meduim-high heat. When hot, add the bay leaf, carrot and half the onion. Stir and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chilli-garlic-ginger paste. Stir and fry for a minute. Add the drained rice and ground spices. Stir gently and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, coconut milk and salt. Stir and bring to the boil. Cover tightly, turn the heat to very low and cook for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed.
5. Meanwhile, in a small pan heat the remaining ghee over a meduim-high heat. When hot, add the remaining onion. Stir and fry until the onion is brown and beginning to turn crisp. Add the cashew nuts. Stir and fry for a minute until the cashews turn golden. Add the sultanas (golden rasins). Stir once or twice. Remove from the heat. Spread over the rice when serving or else mix with it.

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