Here we give you a quick regional tour of some of the simplest yet tastiest Indian rice recipes, from the four corners of India. Discovering culinary delights in faraway, exotic places may be one of the greatest joys of travelling. But you need not go that far to find delicious recipes that are right here in your backyard.
Sometimes you can easily find or make tasty and healthy food right in your own kitchen.
Here are four tasty Indian rice recipes you can enjoy with the whole family at home:
1. Kashmiri Pulao (Jammu & Kashmir)
Kashmiri pulao reminds you of the food eaten by the nawabs in ancient India. This rich and aromatic North Indian rice dish is not spicy but full of sweet flavour. It smells amazing because of saffron, onions, nuts, and fruits like pomegranate, apple and grapes cooked together with the finest basmati rice. The pulao will turn any ordinary occasion into a special one, thanks to the delectable fragrance and richness. The world’s finest chefs put Kashmiri Pulao on their menu because it is one of the best-selling Indian rice recipes.
2. Bengali Khichdi or Khichuri (West Bengal)
Bengalis celebrate everything with food. Even the rains are welcomed by a piping hot kichdi, a simple and easy-to-prepare dish. Rice, dal, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, carrots are cooked together in a pressure cooker. Bongs love eating their khichuri throughout the monsoon season – from the end of June until the Pujas are over. Bengalis serve khichuri with batter-fried vegetables, such as pumpkin and brinjal (eggplant) or even fried fish (maach bhaja). Khichuri is also commonly served to the masses as bhog during festivals like Durga Puja in Kolkata.
3. Tamarind Rice (Tamil Nadu)
Tamarind rice is served in South Indian temples worldwide, as prasad. Also known as imli in India, tamarind adds a distinct tangy taste that is loved by South Indians, especially Tamilians. The tangy tamarind rice is made with channa and urad dals, infused with the flavour of tamarind pulp. In some homes, the raw rice is cooked in the pulp or tamarind juice, first. Read on to discover how to prepare the most popular of all South Indian rice recipes that every Indian people everywhere love to eat.
4. Hyderabadi Biryani (Andhra Pradesh)
Hyderabadi biryani is one of the most popular Indian rice recipes because it smells and tastes so good! It is spicy and bursting with flavour, making it a great dinner party item! Half-cooked rice is mixed with curd, ghee and spices, and then layered with fried onions, cooked mutton and mint. It is slow-cooked dum style by sealing the cover with dough until the rice and meat are tender.
KASHMIRI PULAO RECIPE
Kashmiri pulao is perhaps the most traditional Indian rice recipes from the state of Jammu & Kashmir. This simple and tasty Kashmiri rice dish used to be served to princes and nawabs in North India, hundreds of years ago! Kashmiri cuisine is yum and a global favourite. It is a popular restaurant rice dish everywhere because it has a mild flavour that balances heavy and spicy Indian gravies. Kashmiri pulao is sweet, fragrant, yet rich, healthy, and filling enough to be eaten alone. The whole family loves it!
Here’s our Kashmiri pulao rice recipe:
- 2 cups long-grain, basmati rice
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cardamom
- 3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup fresh cream
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp ghee
- ½ cup dry fruits and nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, raisins) – Use what you want; chop fruits like apple, pomegranate, grape and pineapple.
- 2 to 3 edible rose petals (optional)
- Pinch of saffron (optional)
- Fried onions as a garnish (optional)
Wash, soak, and drain the basmati rice; set aside. To beaten cream, mix milk, sugar and a pinch of salt. Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan and saute the garam masala (whole) spices, until it smells good. Add rinsed basmati rice and roast it for 4 or 5 minutes with half a teaspoon of salt to allow the rice to absorb the aroma of the spices. Add milk mixture along with half a cup of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered until it is cooked. Gently mix the dry fruits & nuts (fry them in a little ghee if you prefer) and garnish with seasonal fresh fruit pieces. Serve hot with Raita and Paneer Makhani, or Rogan Josh (a Kashmiri lamb dish with thick gravy).
Cooking tips: Consider a couple of tips to add maximum flavour and aroma, taking this yummy pulao recipe to sublime levels!
- Add saffron strands to 2 tablespoons of heated milk. Mix this with the rest of the milk and cream.
- Garnish with fried slices of half an onion.
BENGALI STYLE KHICHURI RECIPE
In West Bengal, Kichuri is preferred over other Indian rice recipes during the monsoon or rainy season. The Bengali khichuri is a wholesome one-pot meal. It is basically a ‘dal-bhaat’ preparation with added vegetables. You can add whatever veggies you have left in your fridge, but Bengalis prefer adding pulao favourites, like green peas, potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower. You can also use just peas and potatoes. The spices are not the traditional Bengali panch phoron, but garam masala that goes better with ghee (clarified butter).
Hope you enjoy this renowned khichuri recipe, straight from the kitchens of Bengal.
- 1 cup basmati or Govinda Bhog rice.
- 1 cup split moong dal.
- 3 tbsp ghee or white oil.
- Whole garam masala spices: 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1″ cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 3 cloves, 1 bay leaf.
- 1-inch grated ginger.
- ½ tsp turmeric powder.
- ½ tsp red chilli powder.
- 2 small tomatoes and green chillies, according to taste.
- 1- 1½ cups mixed veggies, frozen or chopped.
- Salt and sugar, per taste.
- 5 cups water.
Rinse and soak rice for about 30 min. Slow roast the moong dal in a heavy bottomed pan/khadai/wok till the dal turns uniformly golden brown and aromatic. When cool, rinse in water. Heat ghee or oil (or a mix of the two) in a pressure cooker; add whole spices till the cumin begins crackling. Add ginger and dry spices, stir for a minute. Saute green chillies and the tomatoes till they soften. Add the rest of the veggies, the roasted moong dal and saute for 2 min. Mix rice with everything and pour enough water to cover everything. Season with salt and sugar; cook under pressure till 4 /5 whistles on a medium-high flame. Serve piping hot khichuri with “begun bhaja” or “beguni” and roasted papad.
Cooking tip: Kichdi has a porridge-like texture. It is the mushiest of all Indian rice recipes. For traditional mushy Bengali khichuri, simply add half to one cup of extra water before closing the pressure cooker lid.
TAMARIND RICE RECIPE
Tamarind rice is tangy, hot, a little sweet, and full of flavour. As the name implies, the main seasoning is the sour tamarind (or imli) – a common ingredient in south Indian cuisine. It is basically a south Indian rice recipe having variations depending on the state. The Kannada and Tamilian versions of tamarind rice taste quite different even though the main ingredient is imli in both rice recipes. We want to start you off with a basic tamarind rice recipe from Tamil Nadu. It is usually seasoned with sesame and coriander seeds, curry leaves, and red chillies, peanuts and coconut.
- 1 ½ tsp chana dal (split Bengal gram)
- 1 ½ tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
- 1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 3 to 4 whole dry red chillies, broken into pieces
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or other cooking oil
- ½ cup peanuts
- ½ chana dal (split Bengal gram)
- ½ tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
- 8 to 10 curry leaves
- Asafoetida or hing
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ cup tamarind pulp or imli
- 2 ½ cups cooked rice
- salt to taste
You can get the basmati or jasmine rice ready by cooking it in a rice cooker. Then dry roast the whole chillies and seeds on a low flame till they turn golden brown. Cool and blend into a fine powder. Heat cooking oil, and saute peanuts on low for a few minutes. Add dal, curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric, mix well and saute on medium heat. Add the tamarind pulp (and a little water if required). Cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Toss the rice gently with the tamarind mixture, adding salt to taste. Garnish with shredded or chopped coconut. Serve hot with coconut or cucumber raita.
- Cook the rice in the tamarind pulp juice, dissolved in water.
- Add 1 tsp jaggery (gur) or brown sugar for a hint of sweetness to balance the sourness.
- Use a healthy variety of organic tamarind.
- You can substitute raw tamarind with ready-made paste or sauce.
HYDERABADI BIRIYANI RECIPE
If you love rice and meat, especially lamb mutton, then the mere mention of “biryani” is sure to make you salivate! Millions of people think this to be the most mouth-watering and spicy of all Indian rice recipes, at least where biriyanis are concerned. Lucknow biriyani comes a close second, but it is bland by comparison. In fact, the Andhra capital is more famous for its biryani (and the Charminar) than anything else. There are vegetarian, egg, and non-vegetarian versions of Hyderabadi biriyani too. Although cooking biryani is synonymous with long hours in the kitchen, this recipe is a relatively easy way of making dum biryani, especially if you are short on time.
- 1 kg meat
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tbsp red chilli paste
- 1 tbsp green chilli paste sauteed brown onions to taste
- ½ Tblsp cardamom powder
- 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 4 cloves, pinch of mace and mint leaves to taste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 250g curd
- 4 tbsp ghee
- 750 gm semi-cooked rice
- 1 tsp saffron strands
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup of oil
- Garnish: Boiled eggs, carrots, sliced. Coriander and mint leaves. Saffron and ghee.
Clean the meat thoroughly and marinate in half the yoghurt and ground spices for half an hour. Saute onions and put aside half of it for later. Add ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, green chilli paste, whole spices, the marinated meat, mint leaves and lemon juice. Mix and stir well while cooking (you can use a pressure cooker at this stage to cook the meat faster). In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the remainder curd, ghee, semi-cooked rice, saffron, water and oil. Trap the heat inside the pot by sealing it with dough on the rim.
This firmly covers and cooks your biryani “on dum”.
Keep the lid on for at least 25 minutes or until the meat is tender, and falls off the bone easily. Garnish Hyderabadi Biryani with fresh coriander leaves, sliced carrots, and boiled eggs. Serve hot with cucumber raita.
Cooking Tip: Layer the rice, curd, saffron, ghee or oil alternately with fully cooked meat, so the full flavours of meat, rice, onions and saffron mix evenly for traditional, dum style Hyderabadi biriyani.
There are many more regional Indian rice recipes, and we will add more of them to this list.
Meanwhile, tell us what your favourite Indian rice recipes are. Explore more ways to eat right, find organic foods, get healthy and fit online at Zotezo.