A few years back, we lucked into an oddly affordable Knightsbridge apartment while visiting London. On a random walk about, I stumbled onto Yotam Ottolenghi’s eponymous restaurant in Belgravia and I was beside myself with joy. I love how he lets the true flavors of ingredients speak for themselves. His use of spice and herbs just heightens what is already there. This is a simple side, one of many recipes from his cookbook Plenty that have made it into regular rotation around here. It goes well with pretty much any main and is lovely with eggs for a special brunch. If you don’t have curry leaves, you can make this without. Also, if I don’t have fresh chilies on hand I add in pepper flakes instead. Mix some lime juice and salt into a little greek yogurt to serve on the side.
By Ottolenghi from Plenty
- 4 Tbsps peanut oil
- 2 onions, diced fine
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 6 curry leaves
- 8 cardamom pods
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 fresh green chilies, thinly sliced
- sea salt
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 - 3/12 cups water
- 1 cup parsley leaves, chopped
- 5 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
- 6 Tbsps lime juice
- black pepper
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 Heat the peanut oil over medium heat in an ovenproof saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid.
- Step 3 Sauté onions and garlic for 8 minutes on low without letting them brown.
- Step 4 Add the curry leaves, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, chilies and 1 tsp of salt to the onions. Cook and stir on medium heat for 4 minutes.
- Step 5 Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the water making sure it comes 3/8 inch above the rice. (depending on your pan this could be 3 to 3 1/2 cups,
- Step 6 Cover the pan with the lid and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Step 7 Check to be sure the rice is done. If not, and water has all evaporated, add more and put back in the oven.
- Step 8 Stir the parsley, cilantro and lime juice into the rice. Taste and adjust salt and lime to your liking. Season with pepper. Add more chilies if you like.