All hail the great Nigella Lawson.  I needed some rice to serve with her Chicken Mughlai and I already had special spices from my run to the A-1 Indian Market, so I decided to make her Indian Rice Pilaf as well.  One problem, I didn’t have basmati rice, only jasmine, so I went with that.  The results were fragrant and fantastic!

This is Nigella’s recipe verbatim except for the rice swap and the addition of a little salt.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised (See Note)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

NOTE:  To bruise the cardamom pods, I put them on a cutting board and thwacked them with the wide side of a large kitchen knife until they cracked open.  So satisfying!

In a deep saucepan, add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and onion.  Cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until the onion is slightly browned and soft.

Add the rice and mix with the onion mixture until it is coated, then pour in the broth.

Bring the pan to the boil.

Cover the pan with a lid and cook over the lowest heat possible for 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat.  COOL TIP:  If you aren’t ready to serve this right away, take the lid off, cover with a clean dish towel and put the lid back on the saucepan. You can leave the rice to rest like this for at least 10 minutes, and up to an hour.

When you are ready to serve, fluff up the rice with a fork, season with salt to taste and scatter with toasted sliced almonds and cilantro.

Serve with anything, but especially good with Chicken Mughlai.  Just like the chicken, this was a big hit with adults and kids alike even though there was something green in it.

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