Stir-Fried Peas with Rice (Mattar Wale Chawal)
1 cup basmati rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
1 small bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Table salt, to taste
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Fried Onions (see recipe on page 16), optional
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30–35 minutes
This makes a perfect side to any curry. For a more colorful presentation, add a few finely diced carrots along with the peas.
1. Rinse the rice at least 3 to 4 times with water. Drain and set aside.
2. In a deep pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf. When the spices begin to sizzle, add the peas; sauté for 1 minute. Add the salt and rice; mix well.
3. Add the water and stir for 1 minute to get rid of any lumps of rice. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat. Loosely cover 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 and garnish with Fried Onions.
A very easy way to make rice when you are in a rush is to microwave it. Wash, soak (for 30 minutes), and drain 1 cup bas-mati rice. Combine with 2 cups of water and salt to taste in a microwave-safe dish. Cook, uncovered, at full power for 12 to 13 minutes. Carefully stir. Cover loosely, and microwave for another 5 to 6 minutes. Let the rice stand, covered, for a few minutes. Fluff and serve. Note that microwave times may vary slightly depending on the power of the microwave.