The quintessential Ghee rice , although sounds very simple dish, but in it's simplicity lies it's delicious taste and when accompanied with any kind of side dish makes the combination a feast which is simply irresistible. I guarantee that once you try out the Ghee rice you would become a life long fan of it. You don't need to be a rocket sentient to prepare it. All you need is some patience and an eye for details to prepare it.
In some restaurants I have even shunned Biriyanis to order this humble yet delicious dish. In summer this is a perfect course to indulge upon. All you need is handful of cashews and caramelized onions which is the main flavour.
1 cup Basmati rice
4 tbsp Ghee
2 Onions, thinly sliced
1" Cinnamon stick
2-3 Black peppercorns
1 Star anise
Very small Javitri phool
2 Green cardamoms
1 Tej patta
1 cup mixed Cashews & Raisins
Salt to taste
Water to boil the rice
Wash the rice well and soak it for 15 minutes.Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil and add all the spices (cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, javitri phool, cardamoms, tej patta and peppercorns) and add 1/2 tsp of refind oil, 1 tsp salt and rice.
Stir and keep an eye on the cooking time. Check the rice after 12-14 minutes as basmati which is pre-soaked for 15 should be ready by now. Check a rice grain by keeping in middle of your thumb and index finger if the grain is firm but tender. The crunchiness should go away by now. Turn off the flame and cover with a lid. Carefully drain out the excess water and keep aside. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork to allow steam to escape and keep the grains separate.
In between take a pan and add 3 tbsp ghee in it. Add cashews, raisins and fry till golden brown. Keep aside. In the same pan fry onions on low heat. This stage takes time (minimum 15-20 minutes) as caramelizing onions takes time. Keep stirring the onions for even browning. Keep aside. Add remaining ghee in the pan and add the cooked rice. Mix thoroughly with fried cashews, raisins and caramelized onions. After 2 minutes transfer the rice to a serving plate. Serve with veg or non-veg gravy of your choice.
- Cooking time of rice may vary depending upon the brand and variety of rice you are using.
- The individual grains of rice should be firm and separate. As no one likes sticky and mushy rice on their plate !
- Caramelizing onions will try to test your patience but the end result will pay off so don't rush up to fry onions on high flame.