Basmati with Whole Garam Masala

This is another recipe out of Madhur Jaffrey's, "From Curries To Kebabs". It's a great way to change up the usual "rice with curry" equation and creates a fragrant accompaniment to the beef curry I also made tonight.

The spices required are easily found in a Chinese or Indian grocery -- I found all of mine without any trouble in Ottawa's Chinatown.


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium stick of cinnamon
  • 4 (green) cardamom pods
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns (I halved this)
  • 1/2 tsp whole black cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried rose petals (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fine half-rings onion
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, if needed

Put the rice in a bowl and wash in several changes of water. Drain.

Pour the oil into a heavy, lidded pan that will just hold the cooked rice comfortably and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cinnamon, the two types of cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, and black cumin seeds. Stir once or twice and add the onion. Stir and fry until the onion is reddish-brown. Add the rice and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the rice for 2 minutes. Add the broth, plus the salt if the broth is unsalted, and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce the heat to very, very low and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let pan sit, covered and undisturbed, for a further 10 minutes.

*Notes: Next time I will further reduce the peppercorns to perhaps 1/8 tsp -- the boys aren't a big fan of pepper. Also, it was a bit salty -- I will reduce that to 1/2 tsp next time.