Rice is a Bengali staple. Call it our weak spot, but no Bengali can stay without rice for long, and i’m not talking about brown rice or wild rice, I’m talking about the fluffed up white warm rice. It’s probably the abundance of rice fields in Bengal that made the Bengali cuisine so biased towards rice. Bhaat diye dal (lentils served with rice) or bhaat diye maach (curried fish served with rice), is a Bengali’s comfort food.
Basmati, or the long grain scented rice is the more like the biye barir chal (served only at big occasions – wedding parties). But, living in the US, I have become fond of eating it in a daily basis. And, one of my favorite restaurants, Chipotle serves the awesome burrito bowl on a bed of cilantro lime basmati rice. I am so fond of this flavored rice, I thought I should share the recipe with you all.
I am a big proponent of cooking rice the traditional way – on the stove top. I have tried cooking it in microwave, rice cooker and also in the pressure cooker, but I find the rice cooked on a stove top turns out the best. Also, a big advantage of cooking it on the stove top is that the extra starch come out along with the extra water when you drain it out on the colander, making it more healthy than the microwave or the pressure cooker methods.
- 2 cups uncooked Basmati rice
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 6 cups water
- Pour the water on a deep vessel, and let it start simmering. In the meantime wash the rice. Add the rice to the now simmering water. Cook till the rice is fully done, 15 to 18 minutes. You can take out a single grain of rice with a spoon and press with your fingers to check if it’s done.
- Place a colander, big enough to hold the rice, on the kitchen sink. Pour the cooked rice along with the water into the colander, drain out the water and fluff the rice with a fork.
- Wash the rice and transfer to a microwave safe bowl. Add 4 cups of water. Set the microwave to high and cook for 15 to 18 min. fluff with a fork
- Wash the rice and place it in the cooker pot. Add about 3 cups of water and set the machine to regular white rice. Once, it’s done, fluff it with a fork.
- Choose any of the methods to prepare rice. Mix the chopped cilantro along with the lemon juice to the rice, and give it a good stir. Serve warm with your choice of sides.
- If you are using the stove top method, do not worry about the amount of water as long as the rice is fully covered with water and you can add extra if it seems too dry before the rice is fully cooked.