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Rice with peas

Written By Reena on 4 Mar 2011 | 05:00

This is a simple recipe that my mum used to make when I was a child as a variation from plain rice.  It is very lightly spiced and the peas and spring onions give it an interesting texture. I wouldn't recommend eating it as a dish on it's own but I do suggest eating it with curries, dahl or kadhi

Serves 2-3 as an accompaniment 

  • 150g long grain basmati rice
  • Water
  • 50 grams fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon light tasting vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 1/4 small green chilli - finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • Small handful fresh coriander - finely chopped
  • 1spring onion - finely chopped
  1. Soak the rice in a bowl for 20 minutes. 
  2. You will notice that the water has turned a cloudy white colour.  This is the starch from the rice.  Drain away the water.  Cover the rice with water again.  Stir the rice and watch as the water turns white again.  Drain immediately and then repeat this step a further two times.  The water will still be turning cloudy as there is still starch in the rice but you will have removed a large amount of it.  You do need some starch in the rice to stop it disintegrating.
  3. Add the peas and leave to soak for another 5 minutes.  
  4. In the meantime heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan.
  5. Add the cumin, cloves, peppercorns and star anise and let them cook for a minute or two.
  6. Now add the onion.  Stir well and let it cook until the onions turn slightly brown.
  7. Now add the green chilli, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and coriander-cumin powder.  Stir well and let the mixture cook for a minute.
  8. Returning to the rice and peas, drain the water from the bowl.
  9. Add the rice and peas to the pan and stir well.
  10. Now add enough clean water to the pan to cover the rice by approximately 1 cm.  
  11. Bring the water to the boil.
  12. Reduce the heat to low, put a lid on the saucepan and cook for five minutes.  
  13. Stir the rice gently and note how much water is in the saucepan.  If you push the rice to one side of the saucepan, there should be a reservoir of 1-2 tablespoons of water at the bottom.  If there is more than this, drain it away.  If there is less, add a little water.
  14. Now partially cover the saucepan and let it cook for a further minute or two on a low heat.
  15. At this point the rice should be fluffy and perfectly cooked.  If it is still wet, drain away any excess water.  If it is too dry (it will be looking overcooked), add a little more water.  In both cases partially cover the saucepan and return to the hob on a low heat for another minute and then repeat this step until perfect.
  16. Once cooked, garnish with the garam masala, coriander and spring onion.
  17. Serve hot with a curry of your choice.

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