This is the simplest of rice dishes served on special occasions and festivals. This is my centerpiece whenever I entertain and I always have guests asking for the recipe. It will fill your house with the earthy aroma of cumin and rice as the two cook together. Makes 2 servings.
• 1 cup basmati rice
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 1/2 cups hot water
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
1. Rinse rice and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan; when hot (though not smoking), add cumin seeds and let brown for 10 seconds, taking care not to burn cumin. Add rice and gently coat with cumin-infused oil. Add hot water and salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Add peas 5 minutes before rice is done for a burst or color.
Antara B. Mitra is a freelance writer and independent radio producer living in Manlius, New York. She loves traveling and sampling new foods.
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The Aroma of Indian Cuisine