|Top: Saag aloo. Bottom: Spiced basmati rice|
- 400g basmati rice
- 2 tblsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 fresh hot green chili, finely sliced - with seeds
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp salt (depending on how salty the stock is)
- 500ml good chicken stock
- Put the rice in a bowl and wash in several changes of water. Drain and then cover with 1.25l of fresh water and leave to soak for 1 hour. Then pour the rice over a sieve and leave to stand, draining for at least 20 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion until they start to brown and then add the rice, chili, garlic, garam masala and salt. Stir gently for 3-4 minutes until all the rice grains are translucent with the oil then add the chicken stock and bring the rice to the boil.
- Cover the pan with a heavy lid, line the top of the pan with tin foil to make sure the steam cannot escape if necessary (I sit a cast iron pestle over the lid handle for added weight), and turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting - use a heat diffuser if you have one. Cook for 20-25 mins. The rice is ready when the grains are soft. Don't worry if you have a thin layer of rice stuck to the bottom of the pan as it will wash off after soaking in hot water for 10 mins.
A nice garnish for this dish is chopped fresh coriander or thin slices of fried onions.