This is SO not low-carb it really has no business being on this blog. But. I do eat 2-4 tablespoons of rice with a meal from time to time, and if I’m going to eat it, it better be good rice. Sometimes I just steam it in my rice cooker with just ghee and salt and that’s yummy too, but if I want to do something a little more special, this is how I make it.
So I made this in the Instant Pot on Rice setting (which counted down 12 mins at low pressure) but I’m not 100% sold on it. TBH I think my little cheapo $20 rice cooker does a better job. This one had a chewer texture when I was done. The one difference, is that with the Instant Pot, I can sauté the onions and cook in the same container rather than dirtying two containers. I’d love any tips from anyone who has perfected basmati rice in the Instant Pot though.
Also traditionally, we wouldn’t use a muslin bag for the whole spices, but we are trained from a young age to eat around whole spices. Rather than risking you or a loved one biting directly into a peppercorn, I tried this with a muslin bag and it tasted just the same. Below is what I used for spices for 1 cup of rice, and I sort of wing the proportions. Since they were in a bag, I smashed the bag with a heavy object a few times to release some of the flavors.
Frying those onions is very critical for this dish. They add a wonderful flavor to the rice, as well as providing it with a tinge of brown. You’ll notice my rice isn’t pure white when it’s finished, and that’s because of the browning of the onions. I’ve included a picture below so you know what the onions should look like when they’re ready to have the rice and water added. Notice lots of lovely ghee in there, yum!
This rice is perfect under any of the curries I’ve posted on this blog, and 1/4 of a cup of this rice usually satisfies me.
Rinse your rice and let it sit while you get ready for it.
Put the whole spices (cardamon, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon) into a muslin bag or a spice infuser and crush slightly.
Heat your pot and when it's hot, add in the ghee and let it melt.
When it's hot enough to shimmer, add in the cumin seeds and let them sputter. It will sound like popcorn starting to pop.
Add in the sliced onions and salt and cook until the edges are crisp. You want them cooked but not burned (see pic).
Add in the rice and mix until each grain is coated with ghee.
Add water and set it for 6 minutes at High Pressure. If you're making this in a rice cooker, it's simple enough, just turn it on and walk away. If you're making this on the stove top, you want the water to come to a boil and as soon as it does, stir once, turn heat to low, set your timer for 20 minutes and DO NOT mess with it until it's done or you'll break the rice.
- For basmati, it's very important to let it steam for 10 minutes AFTER it's done cooking. I opened up the instant Pot and stirred it once, and then closed it back up and let it rest again. You could add defrosted green peas at this point if you like.
- That's it. Your Pilau is ready to serve.