Indian ghee rice

Indian ghee rice

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

The recipe for Indian ghee rice was in my very first cookbook and it was while I was writing it and Suzanne was doing much of the shopping and housework back home that she put it to the test. She had no official training up until then apart from standing beside me as she grew up, stirring, preparing lamb chops for grilling, slicing tomatoes for salads, and watching. She was so delighted at her success with the Indian ghee rice that she changed her mind (as 18-year-olds are inclined to do) about becoming a fashion designer and gave in to pursuing a career in food. With the help of my first royalty cheque I was able to send her off to London to complete the Cordon Bleu Diploma Course. The rest, as they say, is history.

The easiest and most successful way to cook rice is by the absorption method. The rice is first fried in ghee, and then simmered in stock and spices until all the liquid has evaporated, and the rice has become tender, but with each grain still separate. Do not stir rice once it has come to the boil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
60g ghee or butter
1 onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups basmati rice
3 1/2 cups * chicken stock [rid:7474]
or 3 1/2 cups water
8 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
4 bruised cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked peas

Method

  1. Heat the ghee or butter in a heavy saucepan with a lid. Add the onion to the pan and fry gently until a golden brown. Make sure the onion is well cooked, but do not allow it to burn. This frying takes quite a while. Add the turmeric and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rice and fry for 5–10 minutes, stirring constantly, until it is golden. Add hot stock or water with the spices and salt. When boiling, turn the heat down very low, cover the pan tightly and cook gently for 20–25 minutes. Add the peas in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Turn the heat off and keep covered until ready to serve.
  2. A few minutes before serving, uncover the pan to allow steam to escape. Fluff up the rice with a fork.

Indian ghee rice with chicken

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. To turn the rice into a complete meal in 1 pan you can add 4 chicken thigh or breast fillets, cut in two.
  2. In a large heavy frying pan, brown the chicken pieces on all sides in the ghee, then set aside. Add the onion to the pan and fry until golden brown, stirring well for 1 minute. Add the turmeric and rice and fry for a few minutes, stirring until golden. Add the hot stock and spices. Season with salt to taste. Return the chicken to the pan, pushing it down into the rice.
  3. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook on a very low heat for 15 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook until the chicken is tender and the rice has absorbed the liquid. A few minutes before serving, uncover, and fluff up the rice with a fork.

What is ghee?

  • Ghee is a clarified butter essential to many Indian dishes. It is made by gently simmering unsalted butter until its water content is removed. The resulting butter is spooned off leaving white milk solids, which settle to the bottom. The white milk solids should be discarded. Ghee has a delicious nutty aroma and is able to be heated to higher temperatures than normal butter without burning. You can also purchase ghee from the supermarket.
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Margaret
Fulton
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