Thursday, April 2, 2015

Toasted Cashew & Golden Raisin Basmati Rice

We're on our second to last Indian food week post. Today it's all about my favorite preparation of basmati rice. I know that not everyone will be a fan of this one because it's one of those sweet and savory and chunky things. But, if you're into sweet and savory and chunky, then please, continue reading.
Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
¼ cup butter (½ stick)
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cinnamon stick
8 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1½ cups basmati rice
pinch saffron
½ cup golden raisins
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you're vegetarian)
½ cup cashews, chopped
1 teaspoon oil
Start by dicing up some onion and mincing up some garlic.
Grab a saucepan and chuck in the butter, onions, and garlic and get it going over medium heat.
Once the butter has melted and the onions are soft, toss in the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cardamom pods. Let this cook until it's super fragrant; the smell of cinnamon should fill the house. Add the rice and mix it all up so each grain is coated in butter and then add in the raisins and saffron. Pour in the chicken stock and give it a single stir just to unstick any rice grains that have clumped together and to bring the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cardamom pods to the surface (they'll all float).
Pop a lid on, lower the heat and let the rice cook until all the stock has been absorbed, about 12 to 15 minutes.
When the rice is close to being done, grab a handful of cashews and give them a rough chop.
Heat a pan with a little oil and toast the cashews until they're golden brown and crunchy.
Grab the rice and fluff it up with a fork. If you don't want to have your guests picking inedible bits out of their rice, remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods.
Toss in the cashews and give it a good stir.
I like to put the bay leaf and cinnamon stick back on top because I think it makes for a nice presentation, but it's up to you. The rice is delicious and it has a mostly yellow hue but I love the little grains of rice that have bits of saffron stuck to it because those turn outrageously yellow. There are pops of sweetness from the raisins, crunch from the cashews, and all of it is deliciously buttery. It's the best.
Here's the recipe page:

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