This simple rice pilaf is the perfect accompaniment for our Chicken Korma, as well as lamb or raita. It uses just a half-teaspoon of the prized single-origin wild mountain black cumin, which is harvested by foragers in the Hindu Kush. The peas and carrots give it a bit of color and interest, but the dish is equally good without them.
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India
2 cups Basmati rice
1 1/2" piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 whole single-origin Pemba cloves
1 large pod black cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon single-origin wild mountain black cumin
1/8 teaspoon whole mace
1 medium onion, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into thin half rings
2 small carrots, diced small
1 cup peas (if frozen, defrosted)
1 teaspoon salt
Wash rice well. Cover with 5 cups water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Blend together the ginger and garlic with 1 tablespoon of water until you have a paste. (I used an immersion blender but you could also use a shallow blender.)
Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, black cumin seeds and mace. Stir once and add onion. Stir and fry until the onion turns reddish-brown.
Add the garlic-ginger paste. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and peas. Stir and fry for 1 more minute. Add drained rice and salt. Lower heat a little and stir and fry rice for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat to very low. Cook for 25 minutes.