Sunday, December 16, 2012

Turmeric Rice

I was a little hesitant in making this side dish.  Primarily because Lovey is so used to his brown rice cooked in broth and lightly buttered.  That's how he likes his rice, plain and simple.

I wanted to try this because I am trying to broaden my appreciation for Indian food.  I Heart Cooking Clubs is providing a good outlet for me to try things and this week it's all about rice.

I planned on baked chicken breasts with Moroccan preserved lemons so I thought this recipe of Madhur Jaffrey's would pair well.

Basmati rice naturally has a wonderful aromatic flavor to it.  This recipe provides even more flavor with the addition of bay leaf, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, cardamom pods, garlic, salt and, or course, turmeric.

These spices were what had me concerned about whether Lovey would like it.  My gut feeling would be that his reaction would be something to the tune of "Hey, what's this in my rice?".

Before the rice and liquid are added to the pan, the spices and garlic are tossed into extremely hot vegetable oil.  I wish I knew how to describe the aroma that came from flash cooking them like that.  I wasn't even able to take time to snap a photo of it I had to move so quickly.

After 20 minutes a fluffy, aromatic and wonderfully flavored rice emerged from the pot.  The turmeric gave it a slight yellow tint.

My husband has been surprising me a lot lately.  I held my breath when he began to eat and the first thing he said, after thank you, was how much he really, really liked the rice!!  I believe 'fantastic' was the word he used.  He may be expecting this more and more!  Which is just fine with me.

Turmeric Rice
A recipe by Madhur Jaffrey
Serves 4 - 6

2 cups long grain basmati rice
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
4 cardamom pods
1" piece of cinnamon bark
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. salt
22 ounces water
chopped chives as garnish (optional)

Mise en place
  • put rice in a bowl and wash in several changes of water.  Drain & leave in a strainer set over a bowl.
  • place the cloves, bay leaf cardamom and cinnamon bark in a small prep bowl
  • peel & finely chop the garlic and set aside in a small prep bowl
  • measure turmeric & salt into a small prep bowl and set aside
  • measure out water
Put the oil in a heavy based saucepan and set over a medium high heat.  When the oil is hot and beginning to bubble, put in the cloves, bay leaf, cardamom pods and cinnamon.  Stir once or twice and add the garlic.

As soon as the garlic turns medium brown put in the rice, turmeric and salt.  Stir gently for a minute.  Now add the water and bring to a boil.

Cover tightly, turn the heat down to very, very low and cook for 20 minutes.  Stir the rice with a fork to separate the grains and serve garnished with chives.

I'm sharing this recipe at IHCC.  Go check out the other Madhur Jaffrey rice dishes people are sharing.


  1. Isn't it terrific when they end up really enjoying something? I'm so glad your husband enjoyed the rice. I bet it paired wonderfully your Moroccan chicken.

    1. Yes Kim, it's always so nice to be able put a recipe in the "keep" stack. So many of them have to go in the "lose it quick" pile! It did go nice with the chicken.

  2. I'm glad this was a winner. I know what you mean about the aroma of the spices in the hot oil. There have been a few Madhur Jaffrey recipes that I've experienced that with. Makes you really anticipate eating!

    1. I was also 'wowed' with how the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon bark immediately puffed up when they hit the hot oil!

  3. This rice sounds perfect for just about any dish. I will have to tty this one.

  4. I'm glad that your hubby love this rice! This has become one of my family's favourite when I made it sometime back. It really is great with just about any curries and sounds wonderful served with your Moroccan chicken.