Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli
Total:
1 hr 30 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
30 min
Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed, black seeds reserved, pods discarded
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons, cut into slices, optional
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • Kosher salt

Directions

To wash or not to wash rice? In the case of basmati, no matter what my preparation is, I always wash it. It cleans out any small particles and it also rids the rice of any starch on the grain. This starch makes the rice gummier when cooked.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, add the rice and 4 cups of cold water. Soak the rice for 1/2 hour.

In a small bowl, add the cumin seeds, cardamom, fennel seeds, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Turn the mixture out onto a baking sheet and put it in the center of the oven to lightly toast the spices and awaken the flavors, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the spices to cool.

Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the butter and the onion. Season with salt and cook until the onions are translucent but not brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the spices. Drain the rice but reserve the soaking water. Stir in the rice and cook until you hear the rice crackling, about 2 minutes. Gently stir in the reserved soaking water. Season with a generous portion of salt and bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat.

Cook the rice over medium-low heat, uncovered and undisturbed, for about 8 minutes. Take a fork (so as not to damage the rice) and flake a few grains off to taste for doneness. It may need to be cooked another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the rice to "rest" (as you would a roast beef) for 10 minutes before "forking" it gently into a serving bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons of butter, if desired, and serve.

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Basmati Rice Pilaf with Peas

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay

Basmati Rice

Rice Pilaf

Rice Pilaf

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Basmati "Fried Rice"

Rani's Rice Pilaf

Recipe courtesy of Padma Lakshmi

Rice Pilaf with Figs

Cooking Tips

How to Poach Eggs Perfectly

Watch videos from Cooking Channel shows and chefs. Learn to prepare feature recipes and relive your favorite moments

On TV

Unwrapped

7am | 6c

Unwrapped

7:30am | 6:30c

Unwrapped

8am | 7c

Unwrapped

8:30am | 7:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

9:30am | 8:30c

Donut Showdown

10:30am | 9:30c

Donut Showdown

11am | 10c

Sugar Showdown

11:30am | 10:30c

Sugar Showdown

12pm | 11c

Sugar Showdown

12:30pm | 11:30c
1pm | 12c
2pm | 1c
3pm | 2c
4pm | 3c

Cake Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

Carnival Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Carnival Eats

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Dinner at Tiffani's

8pm | 7c

Tia Mowry at Home

8:30pm | 7:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

9:30pm | 8:30c

Unwrapped

10pm | 9c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Tia Mowry at Home

12:30am | 11:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

1am | 12c

Unwrapped 2.0

1:30am | 12:30c

Unwrapped

2am | 1c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

So Much Pretty Food Here