Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

This rice dish, very delicious I must say, is cooked in the oven. This method is  very handy if you are cooking a large meal and want to leave the stove top for other dishes. The general method can be used without the addition of the aromatics. Ottolenghi has this recipe in his book Plenty More but I have tarted it up just a little. As much as I love Yotham and crew, they need to get a better handle on Indian ingredients (IMO), so I have added or changed out a couple of things in this dish.

Try to get hold of fresh curry leaves on the stem for this dish – they freeze or dry well, so don’t worry if you end up with a big bunch. One of the ways in which curry leaf flavour is layered into a dish is to use them in several different ways in the same dish. Flavour a broth with them, as Ottolenghi does, saute/fry them in ghee or some other oil because the flavour is most easily transported by oils, and add crushed leaves to the final dish. I have used the last two methods in my version of this dish.

Serve the dish with an Indian pickle and a vegetable or lentil curry.

We have several ways of cooking rice, and this oven method is one more. Also try Oven Finished Rice, Buttery Steamed Rice, and The Absorption Method.

Similar recipes include Turmeric Rice, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, Carrot Rice, and Lemon Rice.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and our Indian Recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. All of the Ottolenghi dishes we have made are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Riceready for the oven

Ottolenghi uses an insane amount of ghee in the dish, but it is worth it. Only reduce the amount if you absolutely must.

Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

out of the oven

Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

ingredients
5 short cinnamon sticks, about 10g
8 whole cloves
the zest of 1 lemon
1 -2 stems fresh curry leaves – approx 15 – 20 leaves plus 5 or 6 extra curry leaves
1 Indian Bay Leaf (teja pata)
400g basmati rice, rinsed, soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained

60g ghee
8 more fresh curry leaves, if available
2 – 3 Tblspn lemon juice
sea salt and black pepper (white pepper can be used)

method
Heat the oven to 180C.

In a saucepan place the cinnamon, cloves, lemon zest, curry leaves, Indian Bay Leaf, 1.5 tspn sea salt (or to taste), 0.5 tspn pepper and 650ml of cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat.

Put the rice in an approx 24cm x 30cm ovenproof dish or roasting tray, pour over the hot spice water and stir. Lay a piece of greaseproof paper over the surface and cover the dish with foil. Place in the oven and cook for 25 mins, then remove and leave, still covered, to sit for eight to 10 minutes. Uncover, fluff the rice a little, crush 4 or  5 curry leaves in your hand and add them to the top of the rice.

Just before serving, melt the ghee in small saucepan. Once it has melted and is very hot, add the curry leaves (they will splutter), then carefully add the lemon juice and swirl to mix. Pour this over the hot rice and fluff it up with a fork. Taste for seasoning, transfer to a serving bowl and serve at once.

Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice

recipe notes and alternatives
Add a tspn each of channa dal and urad dal to the hot ghee and allow to turn golden hue before adding the curry leaves and lemon juice. This adds a textural element to the dish.

The recipe uses an insane amount of ghee in the dish, but it is worth it. Only reduce the amount if you absolutely must.

Serve the dish with an Indian pickle and a vegetable or lentil curry.

Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

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