Aromatic rice recipe

I was making a lamb curry and needed a side dish to go with it.  I half-remembered a recipe from Nigel Slater’s Appetite for a rice dish flavoured with aromatic spices.  The spices are the kind you’d find in Asian dishes: cumin, coriander, cinnamon, star anise.  I used basmati rice, which has a lovely fragrance of its own.

Aromatic rice
Prep time
Cooking time
Total time
A side dish of rice with aromatic spices and sultanas inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe. Serve with curries and other Indian dishes. You can vary the amounts of spices according to taste. Try adding a small hot red chilli with the rice.
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: Indian
Yields: 2
  • 1 dsp cooking oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 cardamoms
  • 1 star anise
  • a handful of sultanas
  • Enough basmati rice to fill a saucepan up to about half an inch
  • Twice as much cold water by volume as rice
  • Salt to taste
  1. Warm the oil in a saucepan and add all the spices.
  2. When you can smell the aroma of the spices, add the rice and stir well to coat in the scented oil.
  3. Add the water, sultanas and salt.
  4. Cover and bring to the boil.
  5. Simmer for ten minutes. Do not remove the lid.
  6. Turn the heat off and leave the pan alone for another ten minutes. Do not remove the lid or move the pan.
  7. Fluff up the rice with a fork, removing the spices, if you don't want to be fishing them out when you're eating.
It's important to leave the lid on when you turn the heat off because the rice is busy absorbing water without becoming soggy.
I served this with:

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