This is a tasty dish made with a naturally aromatic basmati rice which is an authentic Indian rice with beautiful long grains. To top that, it’s flavored with ghee and spices. It’s always served with our flavorful curries and gravies in India.
Ghee Rice with Tomato Onion Kurma
Since the kurma takes more time than the rice we are making this first, by the time it’s done the rice will be ready. So we can have a tasty lunch.
How To Make Tomato Onion Kurma
- Cloves – 4
- Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Cardamom pods – 4
- Star anise – small piece
- Cinnamon stick – 2 small pieces
- Whole black Pepper …. 6
- Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
- Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
- Ginger – 1 small piece -finely chopped
- Coconut – fresh/ frozen – 1/2 cup – grated
- Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Salt – 2 teaspoons
- Coriander leaves – finely chopped for Garnish
Once the spices are toasted the pepper, cardamom and cloves pop. This actually releases the full flavor.
Make sure you guard yourself from oil splatter
Now add the grated coconut, ginger and toast it slightly brown. If it browns too much it gives a bitter taste.
Do not use desiccated coconut, the best substitute would be 1/4 cup of almond powder
Slightly toast it with the spices and follow the same procedure.
Add the coriander powder, chili powder and toast it for a couple of seconds.
If you don’t want this to be spicy just add paprika instead, it gives you this red color without any heat.
Transfer it into a bowl and let it cool . If you leave it in the hot pan it gets burnt.
Put this all into a blender add 1/2 cup of water and grind it into a smooth paste. Set it aside
Chop 1 big onion and 2 tomatoes into medium size cubes .
Add the rest of the oil and 2 bay leaves.
Now add the onion and sauté it slightly (no need to soften )
Then add the tomatoes sauté it for a couple of seconds (no need to soften)
Make sure to cut them in big pieces and sauté them slightly so that it holds their shape until the kurma is done.
Add the ground paste, 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt
Put a lid and let it simmer for sometime. When you take the lid off the aroma you get is unbelievable.
The coconut and coriander powder thickens and makes this beautiful flavorful gravy.
Garnish it with coriander leaves
Tomato Onion Kurma ( Curry/ Gravy)
Now we need something to go with it right ? I’m going to show you how I make this very tasty ghee rice.
Ghee Rice ( Pulao/Pulav/ Pilaf)
- Basmati rice -1 cup
- Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
- cloves – 4
- cardamom pods – 4 (slightly pound it just to open the pods)
- Ghee – 2 teaspoons
- Butter – 2 small slices
- Carrot – 1 washed and diced
- Peas – 1/4 cup fresh or frozen
Wash the basmati rice gently, keep it aside
Heat the pan add 1 teaspoon of ghee and butter add the whole spices sauté them, No need to pop it since it’s going to be cooked with the rice.
If you don’t have ghee just use butter, make sure it doesn’t get brown, it completely changes the color and taste of the rice.
Add the rice and gently toast them until the it gets the sheen, add the carrots and peas gently sauté it for couple of seconds. Make sure not to break the ends of the rice
Add 1 1/2 cups of water if cooking in a pressure pan . After 2 short whistles its done. Toasted rice cooks faster so you need slightly less water, so that it doesn’t get sticky.
If you are cooking it in a pan or electric cooker add two cups of water as usual and cook it until it’s done.
When the rice is hot and steamy add another teaspoon of ghee it melts and perfumes the rice, it gets shiny and the aroma is awesome(this step is optional).
Now gently fluff up the rice with a fork.
To make this festive you can garnish it with a pinch of saffron and fried cashews.
You know when you have mastered the art of making ghee rice if every single grain is fully bloomed and the tips are intact and they are not sticky. You will get the best outcome if you use the best quality basmati rice.
This shiny flavorful white rice studded with colorful carrots and peas is so hard to resist.
A good helping of ghee rice with the tangy flavorful kurma and some crunchy potato chips, Yum … it just hits the spot. This is my favorite weekend lunch. Hope you like it too.
If you eat eggs , you can add boiled eggs. Cut them into half’s and soak it in the kurma for sometime before serving it. My friend tried this recipe with eggs and she tells me I’m missing out so much being a vegetarian. It tastes that good, I guess 🙂
This kurma tastes great with chappathi/ roti or any flatbread .
Ghee is a quintessential ingredient in Indian cuisine.
Ghee is the clarified state of butter . It has this Amber color and extremely flavorful.
It is used in moderation because it’s very rich.
And it’s normally added at the end of the cooking process as a finishing touch to preserve the aroma.
Since its already clarified it burns quickly to avoid this make sure you add oil or butter with it if you are cooking with ghee.
How to make ghee at home
According to my mom it’s a sin if you buy ghee from a store. Literally every Indian knows how to make ghee. It’s very easy and takes only 15 minutes.
- In a cold pan put a log of unsalted butter, Refrigerated or room temperature doesn’t matter.
- Put it on a medium heat. It slowly starts to melt.
- Once it’s completely melted it starts to bubble vigorously and makes this white foam, immediately reduce the flame to low.
- The foam goes down, add the fenugreek seeds. It’s optional but it gives a unique flavor to the ghee.
- Once the milk solids are cooked it starts to clear slowly. The bottom of the pan looks dark brown in color. It’s a sign that the ghee is ready.
- Use a spoon to slightly move the foam to the side, You see this amber color ghee and you can smell the aroma. Don’t leave it any longer otherwise it burns.
- Immediately remove it from the fire and let it cool.
- Skim the left over foam.
- In a glass bottle put a sieve and pour the ghee through it to get this beautiful clear ghee.
- You see the browned fenugreek seeds add it back to the ghee. Fenugreek has medicinal qualities that’s why we add it . But it’s optional.
- I have used a stainless steel pan so that the color of the ghee is nicely seen. But I advice you to use a non stick pan to make the cleaning process easy.
- From start to finish it takes only 10 – 15 minutes depending on the amount of butter.
- You have to keep your eyes on it do not leave it unattended.
- In the cold weather ghee solidifies and becomes creamy white in color, it’s normal .
- Just keep a small amount of ghee outside for daily use and store the rest in the fridge it stays fresh for months.
This might seem like a long process but I’m telling you it’s worth it . Nothing beats the sweet smell of home made ghee, it literally makes everything delicious.
My mom taught me how to make ghee and I’m happy to share it with you all.
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