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Rice Pilaf with Peas and whole Garam Masala

Suvir SaranThis recipe comes from a web site which gives a first class insight into Indian Cooking, what it is about and how to create some of the recipes in your own home.

It is the web site of Suvir Saran, a native of New Delhi, India, who was raised on traditional Indian cooking. He is a passionate and inventive cooking teacher as well as a sort of unofficial ambassador of Indian culture; wherever he goes (in India, Europe and the United States) he finds himself teaching people - colleagues in classes and jobs, strangers in airports and on the street - to love the food and culture of his native country.

To learn more why not visit Suvir Saran's own web site - click here

This recipe comes from Suvir and his co-writer, Stephanie Lyness, with whom he is writing a new cookery book. Stephanie Lyness is a very well respected food writer and editor in the US.


1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1/2-inch cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
3 medium bay leaves
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 3/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen peas

  • Wash the rice in 2 changes of water. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in 4-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the cumin darkens slightly and the cinnamon stick unfurls, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the edges begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring gently so as not to break the grains, 1 minute.
  • Add the water, salt and peas. Stir, then cover the pan and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently (use a flame tamer if necessary), partially covered so that some of the steam can escape, until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir once during cooking. Check to see if the rice is done by taking a few grains on a spoon and pressing them with a finger; if they are still firm, add a little water and continue cooking. When the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and cover until ready to serve.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork, stirring from the bottom of the pan to the top and in big chunks, and serve

Serves 4

Suvir Saran

To visit Suvir Saran's web site - click here

If you have a question for Suvir email him at