Bright yellow with turmeric and subtly flavored with whole spices, this rich rice cooked in coconut milk is usually served when entertaining. This recipe does not work in a rice cooker.
- 1 kg (2 lb) long-grain rice
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small cinnamon quill
- 5 cardamom pods, bruised
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 level teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 litres (4 pints/8 cups) thin coconut milk (see Note)
- 3 teaspoons salt
Wash the rice and leave to drain for 1 hour. In a heavy saucepan heat the ghee and oil and fry the onions and garlic until golden brown. Add the whole spices and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the turmeric and stir for a few seconds, then add the rice and stir over medium heat for 3 minutes or until all the grains are coated with oil. Add the coconut milk and salt. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover the pan tightly and steam the rice for 15-20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes put a heat diffuser under the pan so the bottom does not scorch. Turn off the heat and leave the rice covered for a further 10 minutes. For special occasions, serve the rice garnished with sultanas and cashews or slivered almonds that have been fried until golden.
Note: Thin coconut milk refers to the second extract if you are making coconut milk from scratch, but may be approximated by diluting canned coconut milk with an equal amount of water or even more than an equal amount if the canned milk is very thick. It is preferable to use diluted coconut milk since it is very high in saturated fat.