Spicy Basmati Rice as told by countless generations of Indian chefs to me personally in chat rooms on the internet but finally, finely honed by The Pitch Doctor for your delectation and inner huskards beloved rice-heads and rice-headettes.1. Ingredients enough for a LaMusein of writers, one hungry American painter or five ordinary souls
With Prodigy playing loud in background, Firestarter set for track one, max it.........
- 1/2 kilo or 1 lb to the rest of us of the best basmati rice you can get your mitts on, white or brown
- A generous pinch or two or three of Panchoori Pann (special spice mix you can get in any good Asian/Indian shop) I get mine from Mattas in Bold Street Liverpool because my mates Daleep and Dipak run it, its cheaper there than anywhere else and it's a mainline Pool vibe but you can get yours online http://www.mattas.co.uk/
- Two shallots chopped finely
- Nice generous thumbs of skinned ginger chopped finely
- Two bulbs garlic salt crushed chopped finely (drop salt onto chopping board, lay bulb on it press down with flat of knife, crush and see the skins just drop off and the oils release)
- Organic chicken stock cube or vegetable if a sandal wearer, diluted in cup of boiling water
- Good olive oil say two tablespoons but you will decide your own balance here and a knob of Ghee (Indian clarified butter) if you are a buttery slippery type of affair and like some cholesterol which actually is part of a good balanced diet, gives extra authentic flavour and a slight bulbous shape to stomach and arteries.
- Two teaspoons of Gara Masala. See 2 if you haven't a feckin clue what this great shit is Fistful of finely chopped fresh coriander split into two piles 2/3 to 1/3
2 The rules of the cooking
Failure to follow any of these rules just results in your version of this recipe which is bombproof and will delight you every time. Ideally you want fluffy, slightly crunchy grains. Your pan and temperament will teach you that path to ricenlightenment. When you get to this stage please let us know and post your improvements to this recipe.
A good solid, ideally cast iron pan with a well fitting lid. You will be leaving the rice to cook in its own heat at the end. So the better the lid fits the more the heat and the water stays in to do its job which it has been very well paid to do. Hence a cast iron lid that stays where you put it, this is well known to Spanish cooks and all of Asia. You can get very cheap cast iron pans from Mattas too. Mention my name for a 50% discount and then duck.
Boiled water say a pint or so. Rice, when cooking reacts to your kitchen's humidity and your temper so keep both low if you wish to avoid a sticky end or worser. You have now done all the work and the next bit is the fun part especially for the fire service people. Take batteries out of your smoke alarm if you live in an apartment or leave in if your neighbors are shite.
- Get your pan nice and hot and put in your olive oil on a decent flame, think pyromanic here and go for a flame auld Nick would be proud of
- When just near smoking take off heat and throw in the panchoori pann and lets the seeds sizzle and smoke for a while, then back on lowered flame for a couple of minutes. Only those who are over 16 years old or older can do this bit and strictly no spliffs allowed at this stage for any age. Such ignominious behavior will evidence itself in the rice later and the basmati police are not door knockers my friend
- Now put in shallots, ginger and garlic and turn up the flame and cook til turning brown at edges, for a more smokey flavour cook til caramelised and black at edges
- Stir in Garamasala and cook for twoish minutes
- Put in your lovely basmati and mix in with oils and pan contents and then add 2/3 of the coriander
- Add some good salt from the sea ideally your call on amount. I put into two or three good pinches so I do but I am a salty old salt so I am.
- Pour in stock and stir
- Pour in boiling water and stir
- Put lid on firmly
- Turn the flame to lowest setting
- Light spliff and call crime stoppers about your neighbours cannabis plants that are really annoying you as an upstanding citizen. Druggie bastards will ruin the neighbourhood
- Leave for five minutes with lid on and then look to see how much rice has absorbed water add more if needed. You will quickly get the hang of this as you see how your pan and the rice get on with each other. Mine did like a house on fire, hence my current itinerant status in the arse end of the Languedoc, what the locals affectionately call Labastide-Esparbairenque says Johnny lamusien boy ruler of this parish and not be meshed with
- Take off flame if you are happy with water/rice balance. This should still be moist and have some water showing at the top of the rice. You can add a little more without spoiling the dish. Set aside and cover with a couple of tea towels or your oven mitts. Leave for 5 to ten minutes. Put in large warm bowl and sprinkle rest of coriander. Serve with plain yogurt garnished with fresh lemon and lime juice and fresh black pepper.
Thank you, Peter! Your prose is as spicy as the rice & we're looking forward to more of each!