Lila dhania baath

Another recipe from vegetarian Indian restaurant Prashad.

The chef at Prashad says: "I first came across this dish in a competition. The other finalist was cooking an amazing green rice dish with a mouth-watering aroma. Even though I eventually won the competition, I knew that when I got home I would have to cook my version of that flavoursome green rice for my husband. The fragrant basmati and fresh coriander are just wonderful together."

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 350g basmati rice
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ltr boiling water
  • 2-3 fresh green chillies (ideally Kenyan), trimmed but not de-seeded
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 3 handfuls fresh coriander, rinsed and finely chopped
  • pinch of salt

Method

  • Crush the chillies, garlic and coriander together with a pinch of salt with a pestle and mortar (or in a blender) to make a fine masala paste.
  • Rinse the rice in warm water, running your fingers gently through it before draining, then repeat (washing it twice removes enough starch to make the cooked rice fluffy and loose).
  • Heat the oil in a large pan for a minute over a medium heat before adding the cumin. Keep an eye on the seeds as they bubble in the oil and when they start to go brown, tip in the rice, masala paste and salt, pour in the boiling water and gently stir everything together.
  • Using boiling water helps the rice to cook quickly initially, which makes a huge difference to the texture.
  • Increase the heat to high and boil uncovered for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
  • almost all the water has cooked off and the rice starts to look dry on top.
  • Put a large square of aluminium foil on top of the rice, tucking it in to the edges of the pan to seal the rice in and keep it moist and fluffy while it steams. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and leave to cook for 8-9 minutes before removing from the heat. 
  • Remove from the heat and leave to rest covered for at least five minutes.
  • When you remove the foil, the rice should be standing on end and perfectly cooked. Gently run a spoon through it to loosen, taking care not to break the rice grains.