Indian Restaurant Rice
>from: "blanca" <> 
>i love the rice they serve at indian restaurants. it has some spices in 
it but is 
>basically white. there are a few peas on the top. ilove this rice and 
would really 
>like a recipe for it! thanks in advance! 
1 cup  long-grain white rice
1 Tbsp  oil
1/2 tsp  salt
1-3/4 cup  boiling water
for the texture, here's the technique: 
cook the rice and oil together over medium-high heat, stirring 
constantly. at first it will turn slightly transluscent as it absorbs 
the oil; keep going. after a while it will turn opaque white again. at 
this point, add the salt and the boiling water (careful, it will sputter 
pretty violently), turn the heat to very low, cover, and cook for about 
15 minutes. don't lift the lid before then. at 15 minutes taste for 
done-ness and check for watery-ness. when it's nearly done, re-cover and 
take off heat to allow to steam for another 5 minutes. if it's still 
very watery and close to done, uncover and turn the heat up. (you want 
all the water to either be absorbed or evaporated.) 
this technique makes very fluffy rice--a surface layer of starch is 
cooked by the oil before the water is added, so that the grains don't 
stick together. and the long-grain rice has a lower surface-area:volume 
ratio, which also makes for less sticking. 
as for flavor: use basmati rice (this is crucial) 
use ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, and use more of it (2 tbsp 
or so) 
toward the end of the initial frying, add (and leave in while simmering): 
3 - 4   pods of cardamom
2 - 3   inches of cinnamon stick, broken into large pieces
6 - 8   whole peppercorns
1/4 tsp  or so whole cumin seeds (add these earlier in frying)
\(if it's a fancy restaurant, they'll have used saffron [but it sounds 
like that's not what you've had, the rice would be somewhat 
yellow]--decrease the other spices by half; steep a good pinch of 
saffron threads [not powdered] in 1/4 cup of the boiling water while 
you're frying the rice; add this saffron-water along with the remaining 
1 1/2 cup boiling water.) 
when the rice is almost done, put on top of the rice: 
1/2 cup or so thawed frozen peas (or fresh peas, somewhat before 
that--but then you have to lift the lid early, which can harm the 
texture of the rice) 
you can also use this technique with brown (preferably basmati for 
flavor) rice--first check for doneness at 40 minutes instead of 15. 
(ID: 5877) Mirror: Fri, Oct 8, 2004

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