Dec 12, 2012

IHCC: Rice is Nice

Just to warn you, I made Basmati rice again this week.

Buying Basmati was a splurge, so I'm getting some mileage out of it.  Basmati is fragrant and tasty, but it can also be a bit pricey--a teeny little bag costing more than a huge bag of locally grown.  But the flavor and aroma are nice. 

Know what?  It doesn't even need gravy. 

I can't believe I just said that.

There's this lemon kick I've been on for the past few years.  Yes, years probably mean obsession more than kick.  Thanks for pointing that out.

While I don't like lemony desserts, lemony pasta, rice, and roasted potatoes are frequently on my table.

Madhur Jaffrey's Lemon Rice was a nice side dish.  Lemony without being overly so (which can sometimes happen).  I had no curry leaves.  And since we've had a couple of frosts I had no basil either.  So I did my favorite thing--pair green onion with lemon.  Another long-running jag of mine.

Tyler Florence has a similar Lemon Scented Rice made with Basmati.  He cooks the rice in chicken stock.  And adds bay leaf.  Which is soon becoming my next big food crush.  I have to admit that I like Florence's rice more.

But Jaffrey's Lemon Rice is a bit easier/quicker to make.

It's "Rice is Nice" week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

Lemon Rice
from Madhur Jaffrey, found at

2 cups basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt (used less)
3 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
15 fresh curry leaves (use fresh basil or holy basil as an interesting substitute) I used 2 chopped green onions
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Wash the rice in several changes of water. Drain thoroughly. Combine rice, salt and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover tightly. Reduce the heat to very low and cook for 25 minutes.

Add the oil in a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop (a matter of seconds) add the curry leaves (green onions). Stir once and pour the contents of the frying pan over the rice. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix gently with a fork. Mix again as you transfer the rice to a serving dish.


  1. I'm on your side when it comes to Tyler Florence. LOL!

    This lemon rice is a great side dish for so many things, namely shrimp (but I know I don't have to tell you that)!

  2. I love basmati rice, they are pricey too over here, costs about 3 times more than the regular jasmine rice. Your lemon rice looks wonderful, this was one of the recipes that I've bookmarked to try from my new book!

  3. Anonymous12/13/2012

    This sounds very good. I love basmati rice.

    Have you tried the mideastern market. They usually carry basmati at a decent price.

  4. We loooooove rice and I just have to try your recipe. I've never tried before with mustard seeds and lemon.
    Thanks for sharing this :)


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