Jeera Chawal - Cumin Rice

Saturday, November 30, 2013

And this, my friends, is why I named this site 'Fueling with Flavour'. Yes ... yes ... I come from the Spice Islands too, but more than anything, it's because spices are indeed the spice of life. Not only are they life-giving, with their range of health benefits, but also life-enhancing, with their flavours and aromas, giving instant uplift to bland and boring meals. Now who doesn't love that?

We know that jeera, or cumin, is present in an array of Indian dishes. And Mexican too, for that matter. And what better way to complement their main dishes than with Jeera Chawal. Delicately spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, and clove, this cumin rice ... hey, wait a minute. I should call this a 4C Rice! But I digress ... with fragrant spices, the humble rice is now so aromatic and delicious, I catch my kids consuming it by the spoonful on its own.

Now, there are essentially two ways to make cumin rice. The first one is to make a spiced oil which you then pour into cooked rice. Probably easier, but not as flavorful. The second, which is what I did here, infuses more flavour into the rice, where the rice is cooked with the spices. I made it so much easier by finishing it in the rice cooker. Tadaa! Rice so fragrant and flavorful, don't be surprised if it's just as popular as your main course ;)

2 cups basmati or any long-grained rice
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 inch piece of cinnamon
6 bay leaves
4 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamoms, cracked or split open
1/2 onion, diced finely
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp turmeric powder (optional)
Water, as needed

1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Set aside.
2. In a fry pan, heat the coconut oil, then introduce the cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, cumin seeds, and cardamom.
3. Keep stirring until fragrant, on medium heat, it will take about 2 minutes. Be watchful the spices don't get burnt.
4. Introduce the onions to the pan and cook until softened.
5. Turn off the heat, then stir the rice into the pan, coating all the grains with the aromatic spices.
6. Add the ground cumin, salt and turmeric powder (if you want a yellow tinged rice), and mix well.
7. Place this into a rice cooker, and add enough water to come up to the 2 cup mark.
8. Cook as 'white' rice.
9. Give it a good fluffing up when the timer's up. Enjoy!

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