August 29, 2020
With a nutty complex aroma, ghee is the golden healing elixir of Indian cooking, touted in Ayurvedic lore to be anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer and for enhancing the flavor of spices. As with most ingredients, the better the butter the more flavorful the ghee. When making ghee the milk solids reduce and concentrate and are usually discarded. However, these milk solids are filled with tremendous flavor so they can be easily used to cook rice with or added to stews and bread doughs.
Serves 3 to 4
8 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup long-grain basmati rice
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon sea salt
Unwrap the butter and melt it in a heavy bottom stockpot over medium heat. Be careful because the butter might splatter.
As soon as it comes to a boil, simmer on the lowest setting for 40 to 45 minutes. The milk solids will first begin to separate and rise to the top in a foamy layer. Within about 10 to 15 minutes, they will concentrate and subsequently sink to the bottom. Eventually they will stick to the bottom of the pot and a clear golden colored liquid will emerge.
Let the ghee rest for 10 to 12 minutes then using a fine mesh strainer, strain the ghee. Reserve the ghee. Flip any of the milk solids back into the stockpot. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Lower and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the basmati rice to the pot, turmeric, cinnamon stick, and salt.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover the pot, simmering it for 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice rest for another 10 to 12 minutes. Drizzle ghee if desired and serve. Save remaining ghee for future use.
In this case, we are not pre-soaking the rice because we want all the flavors of the ghee solids liquid to infuse into the rice.
Add peas, nuts, dry fruit or chopped herbs to the pilaf towards the last 5 minutes of cooking.
The water from the ghee pot can also be used to add to a stew or a curry.
December 02, 2022