Bengali Butter Rice (Bengali Ghee Bhaat)
1 cup basmati rice
3 tablespoons Clarified Butter (see recipe on page 15)
1 bay leaf
1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
2 black peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods, bruised
2 cups water
Table salt, to taste
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30–35 minutes Whole spices add an amazing flavor to this aromatic and buttery rice dish. Remove the whole spices before serving.
1. Wash the rice at least 3 to 4 times with water. Drain and set aside.
2. In a deep pan, heat the butter. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and cardamoms. When the whole spices begin to sizzle (about 1 minute), add the rice and mix well.
3. Add the water and salt; stir for 1 minute. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Loosely cover the rice with a lid and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. You will see small craters forming on top of the rice.
4. Cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest setting; simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
Brush your favorite Indian breads with spiced butter for an added oomph. Take a stick of butter at room temperature; add 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic and ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin; mix well. Refrigerate and use as needed.