16 January 2013

Spiced Basmati Rice

       Spiced Rice is an easy way to get a little flavor in your grains and get some great health benefits.  Here is a recipe for spiced basmati rice with fennel, cumin, and coriander seed, a tridoshic blend of spices that hits all the flavors and gives you a great, well-rounded nutritional benefit.  You can also use cinnamon sticks, star anise, or any other whole spice as a substitute, or in addition to.  Variety is the spice of life, and I would also claim that variety is a key in healthy nutrition.



1/2 tsp each of fennel, cumin, and coriander seed

1 cup white basmati rice, washed and drained twice

2.5 cups water

pinch of salt.

Procedure:  Toast the spices over high heat until fragrant in a dry saucepan.  Your saucepan should be big enough for the rice and water, and have a well-fitting lid.  My pan is 2.5 quarts capacity.  After the spices are fragrant (carefully waft the air over the pan and your nose will tell you), lower the heat and add the water and rice.  I lower the heat here for safety and to avoid splattering.  Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat back down to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 10-15 minutes.  Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork to mix in the spices more evenly, cover again and let cool slightly before serving.

toasting the spices until fragrant            cooked rice, yet to be fluffed.

This is a quick and easy dish to make with short notice.  Generally white rices only need to be washed, since their outer hulls have been polished.  Brown rices and grains need to be washed and then soaked in water for a minimum of six hours to get the full nutritional benefit.  Grains like teff, quinoa, millet and amaranth do not need to be soaked, only briefly rinsed.  These are actually more like seeds than grains.


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