Fried Basmati Rice
Recipe adapted from Russell Moore, Camino, Oakland
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 (about 4 cups)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
2 cups basmati rice
4 tablespoons ghee, divided
2 dried ancho chiles
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
5 allspice berries
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 spring onions, sliced and divided
4 cloves of garlic--peeled, sliced and divided
10 fresh curry leaves (if available)
Freshly ground pepper
½ bunch mint leaves, picked (about 2 cups)
1. Wash the rice in several changes of water. Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the ghee, the chiles, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, peppercorns and cumin. Fry for 2 minutes, then add 1 of the sliced onions and 2 cloves of the sliced garlic. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes, then add the drained rice. Season with salt and stir until the rice is completely coated with ghee and spices. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover the pot and simmer for about 17 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Open the lid, fluff gently and refrigerate overnight.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee. Stir in the remaining onions and garlic and fry until they begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the curry leaves and the reserved rice. Season with salt and pepper and stir until the rice is coated in ghee. Stop stirring and allow the rice to begin to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and repeat three more times until there is a good bit of brown and crispy rice. Stir in the mint leaves and serve immediately.
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