Here in Chicago we have an awesome authentic Indian restaurant called Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine; and one of my favorite things to eat there is the Jeera Rice, a popular North Indian dish. Jeera, Hindi for “cumin seeds” (source) is used to describe this dish as it is prepared with cumin seeds. Traditionally cooked with a blend of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and cumin, Jeera rice is easy to prepare, and is delicious on its own, but even more so when eaten alongside curry or another sauce-heavy dish.
They key to making this rice is to rinse your rice before cooking (especially if you use brown basmati), which helps remove excess starch, and to fry it before boiling, which helps improve the texture, in addition to adding another dimension of flavor.
Yields 4 cups
2 cups white basmati rice
2 tablespoons vegan buttery spread
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 brown whole cardamom
4 cups water
3/4 – 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Place rice in a sieve or strainer and rinse until water runs clear. Set aside.
In a medium-large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom and rice. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add water and salt to taste, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing lid. Sprinkle with turmeric, mix carefully and serve.