Indian Vegetarian Recipes (Collection #1: Rice)

Spiced Basmati Rice

serves 4 as a side dish

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 225 grams (8 oz) basmati rice, washed, soaked and drained
  • 1 tbsp mild curry paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 50 grams (2 oz) sultanas
  • 8 cardamom pods, split
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 50 grams (2 oz) flaked almonds
  • Heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds and onion for 10 minutes until softened and golden. Add the rice and curry paste. Add 1 pint of water, the cinnamon stick, sultanas, cardamom pods and turmeric, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes. Toast the almonds until golden brown. Stir into the spiced rice and serve.

    Uploaded: 16 August 1995 by Lon Hall

    Peela Chaaval

    Serves 2

  • 1/2 TBS butter
  • 1/4 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 5/8 cups stock
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (saffron)
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown.

    Add the cardamom and cook for 1/2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add the stock and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then add the cumin seeds, turmeric and rice.

    Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.

    This fine rice recipe comes from the UK mag BBC Vegetarian Good Food. It goes good with Indian side-dishes like baked tempeh.

    Capsicum Rice

    Plain rice 1 cup (200 ms)
    Capsicums (Bell Peppers) 4 or 5 medium sized
    Lemon 1
    Grated dry coconut 1 1/2 table spoon
    Turmeric powder 1/4 tea spoon
    Oil 3 Tbl Sp.
    For Seasoning:
    Mustard seeds 1/2 tea spoon
    Black gram dhal 1 tea spoon
    Bengal gram dhal 2 tea spoons
    Red chillies 2
    Curry leaves few
    cashew nuts 8
    Roasted peanuts 1 Table spoon
    For masala powder:
    Red chillies 6
    Cinnamon 1 inch piece
    Coriander seeds 2 tea spoons
    Cumin seeds 1/2 tea spoon
    Black gram dhal 1 1/2 tea spoons
    Bengal gram dhal 1 1/2 tea spoons

    Fry the above ingredients in a tea spoon of ghee or oil till golden brown. Powder and keep.

    Cook rice until 3/4 cooked. Drain water off the rice, spread and cool. Mix a teaspoon of oil or ghee to that and keep aside.

    Heat oil and add seasonings one by one and fry till golden brown in color. Add diced capsicum and fry till soft. Reduce heat and add grated dry coconut. Fry until light brown; add turmeric powder, salt, & the cooked rice. Fry for a few minutes until the rice is hot. Squeeze lemon juice and powdered masala. Mix well and garnish with cut coriander leaves.

    Masaala Bhat (spicy rice) (W)

    This recipe came from my Indian cooking teacher. He uses only basmati rice. If you are unfamiliar with any of the ingredients or my preparation method, please e-mail me, and I will try to help.

  • Recipe By : Rahaven Iyer
  • Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
  • Cateories : Western Indian, Indian, Rice
  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 1 large Asian eggplant -- cubed
  • 1 large red potatoes -- cubed
  • 1/2 cup green peas, frozen
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup cashews -- raw, split
  • 3 green chilies -- 3-4
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 sprig Karhi leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 cloves -- 4-6 whole
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed -- brown
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed -- ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds -- unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup cilantro -- chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt -- or to taste
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • Wash rice in several rinses of cold water until the water is clear. Cover the rice with water and let sit for at least 1/2 hour. In a stockpot, heat the ghee and pop the mustard seeds with a cover on. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, Karhi leaves, peppercorns, sesame seeds, cashews, and peanuts. Add the vegetables and cook al dente. Add the ground coriander, turmeric, coconut, and salt. Drain the rice, then add it and water (to cover rice by 1/2 inch) and bring to a boil with the cover off. When most of the water has boiled away place a tight fitting lid on the pot. If you have an electric stove turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5-10 minutes. If using gas turn it down as far as you can and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.

    I came up with a new basmati rice recipe that was SO GOOD, adapted from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe in the new Julia Cooks with Master Chefs book:

  • 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed 5 or 6 times, and soaked in water for 30 minutes and then drained in a sieve for 15 minutes
  • 3 T Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 t cumin seed
  • 1 pound whole fava beans, shelled, parboiled, and peeled (will yield about a 1/2 cup of beans)
  • 1 cup minced dill, firmly packed
  • 2 t salt
  • 4 cups stock
  • Heat heavy 3 1/2 quart sauce pan and add oil. When oil is very hot, add the cardamom pods and the cumin. Fry the spices until the cumin seeds turn almost black, but not to the burnt state. This could take 3-5 minutes. Add the rice and stir carefully to coat the rice with oil. Saute the rice for a few minutes, then add the fava beans, the dill and the salt. Add the stock, bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover the pan tightly and cook the rice for 25-30 minutes. Remove the cover, gently fluff the rice with a fork, cover the pot with a clean towel, replace the lid and let the rice sit for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

    I LOVED this one, if I don't say so myself! If you don't have access to fresh fava beans, fresh peas will do as a substitute. You can also substitute the spices, using cinnamon stick, or fennel, etc.

    Saffron Rice

    This tasty rice dish would go well with a wide variety of dishes from the Indian subcontinent. The brown sugar and molasses give it a hint of sweetness to take away some of the heat of the dishes you might be eating with this, and also gives it a nice, slightly sticky consistency.

    Be sure to use good-quality saffron, preferably from Spain. It's expensive, but a little goes a long way.

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, steeped in 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 cups stock
  • 6 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1" piece of a cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground coriander
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Wash the rice in cool water until the water is absolutely clear.

    In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the ghee or oil and saute the cinnamon and cloves briefly to release some of the essential oils. Add the onions, cooking them until they're soft. Do not brown. Add the rice and stir for 5 minutes until the rains are golden. Add the stock, sugar, molasses, salt, coriander and cardamom. Stir to combine, making sure the sugar and molasses are dissolved. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Add the saffron and its water; stir gently.

    Cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve! Serves 4.

    Cashew Rice

    Kaju Chaaval

    Serves 4-6

  • 1 3/4 cups or vegetable stock
  • 2 dried red chilies, seeded (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken up
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 1/4 cups long grain rice
  • 5 oz. shelled raw cashews
  • Add the stock and 1 1/4 cups water to a large saucepan with the chilies, cinnamon, salt, and butter. Bring to a boil, stir in the rice and cashews, cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, until the rice is tender.

    From Ismail Merchant's Indian Cuisine.

    Basmati Rice Pilaf

    Basmati rice with carrots

    This is a delicate, fragrant rice dish, one of our favorites. I got the recipe from an Indian cooking class. It's a bit of work, but well worth it.

    Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 cup Basmati rice (from Indian grocery or gourmet shop)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick, crumbled
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp light vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • Procedure

    1. Wash the rice in cool water, squeezing gently with your fingers, until the water runs clear. Put the rice in 2 cups of cool water to soak for 20 minutes.
    2. Strain soak water into saucepan and heat. Leave rice to dry in strainer. Preheat oven to 350° F.
    3. While rice is drying, chop onion finely and set aside. Dice carrots and set aside. Measure spices.
    4. When rice is dry, heat oil over medium high flame in heavy, oven-proof skillet or casserole dish. Add spices.
    5. When spices become fragrant, add butter and onions. Cook until onions are tender and light golden brown. Add carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes.
    6. Add rice and cook, stirring very gently for 5 minutes.
    7. Add salt and heated soak water, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until water on top of rice has boiled off.
    8. Cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes at 350° F.
    9. Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve.


    It is important to handle the rice gently so that the grains are not broken. It's also important to use whole spices; ground spices would overpower the rice. This dish can be re-heated in the oven.


  • Difficulty: easy.
  • Time: 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking and cooling.
  • Precision: measure the ingredients.
  • Curried Rice

    Baked rice with a mild curry flavor

    This is a slight modification of the "Riz a l'Indienne" from the 60-Minute Gourmet (Pierre Franey). It's more French than Indian, and goes well with, say, saut‚ed in cream.

    Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 2.5 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder, vary amount to taste.
  • 1.5 cups broth (or water)
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Procedure

    1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
    2. Obtain casserole or heavy ovenproof saucepan with a close-fitting lid.
    3. Over a burner on moderate heat, melt half the butter in the casserole and cook the onion and garlic, stirring constantly, until the onion is translucent.
    4. Add the rice and stir until well-coated with butter.
    5. Add the curry powder and stir until well-blended.
    6. Add the broth and stir to make sure there are no lumps.
    7. Add the parsley and bay leaf on top.
    8. Cover and bake in the oven for 17 minutes (Franey says exactly 17 minutes, but basically "cook until done.")
    9. Discard parsley and bay leaf, and stir in remaining butter.


    This basic recipe may be varied by modifying quantities (for example, less onion) or adding ingredients (for example, pine nuts or apple chunks).


  • Difficulty: easy
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Preparation, 25 minutes cooking.
  • Precision: Measure the rice and broth.

  • Jeffrey Mogul
  • Digital Equipment Corp., Western
  • Research Lab, Palo Alto, California,
  • USA
  • Fruit and Nut Rice

    Yield: 6 servins

  • 1 kg Basmati rice
  • 90 g Ghee
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 6 Cardamom seeds
  • 1 Cinammon stick
  • 4 c Hot water
  • Tiny pinch saffron powder
  • 3/4 c Chopped dried apricots
  • 1 c Sultanas
  • 1 c Roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 c Pistachio nuts
  • Wash rice; drain 30 minutes. Heat ghee and oil in large pan, add garlic, onion and spices, cook stirring, 1 minute. Add rice, stir until rice is coated with ghee, stir in combined water and saffron. Bring to the boil, cover with tight fitting lid, reduce heat to very low, steam 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Add apricots and sultanas, cover, cook over low heat 10 minutes, stir in cashews, serve sprinkled with pistachios.

    Dadhyonam (yoghurt rice)

    You can make a extremely simple item thats almost the uncompromising part of a south Indian meal.


  • Rice very well cooked almost to paste (add more water while cooking it)
  • four cups yoghurt (thick or watery doesn't matter) 2-3 cups
  • Cilantro finely chopped 1-cup
  • green chillis finely chopped 1/8 cup
  • ginger finely chopped 1/8 cup
  • black mustard 1-2 teaspoons
  • Heen 1/4 teaspoon
  • salt to taste
  • milk if the yoghurt is very sour
  • Mash the rice very well adding yoghurt little by little into paste of yoghurt and rice. Add salt and hing and continue to mix. Add the mix the stuff switching the stove off.

    In a small vessel add two tea spoons of oil and crackle the mustard on heat. then add this to the paste and add the cilantro and mix.

    Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for about an hour and serve.

    Don't mix the yoghurt in hot steaming rice. Wait for it to cool.

    Vinegar Fried Rice


  • 4 cups Cooked Rice.
  • 5 tbsp Butter.
  • 3 dried Bay leaves.
  • 5 Cloves.
  • 2 medium size green Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips.
  • 1/2 cup green Peas, fresh or defrosted.
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce.
  • 1/4 cup vinegar.
  • 1 tsp Salt.
  • Procedure:

    In a heavy bottomed pot, preferably non-stick, melt the butter over a medium flame. As soon as the butter melts, break the Bay leaves and cloves in half and add to the pot. Fry for a minute. Now add the strips of bell pepper and peas to the pot and fry for about 2 minutes. Add about a tablespoon of soy sauce and fry for about 3 minutes or until the pepper strips and peas are cooked. Now add the cooked rice and mix well till the rice is coated with butter. Add the remaining soy sauce, the vinegar and salt. Fry for 3 more minutes, stirring well all the time. Remove from heat and serve hot.