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Fried Rice with Spices

This dish is mildly spiced, suitable as an accompaniment to any curried dish. The whole spices - cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon, peppercorns and cumin are not intended to be eaten.

ingredients

serves 3 - 4
175 g (6 oz) basmati rice
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
15 ml (1 tbsp) ghee or butter
8 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 bay leaf
7.5 cm (3 in) cinnamon stick
5 ml (1 tsp) black peppercorns
5 ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds

method

1. Put the rice in a colander and wash under cold running water until the water clears. Put in a bowl and pour 600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups fresh water over the rice. Leave the rice to soak for 30 minutes; then drain thoroughly.

2. Put the rice, salt and 600 ml ( 1 pint) 2 1/2 cups water in a heavy-based pan. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. The rice should be just cooked with a little bite to it. Drain off any excess water, fluff up the grains with a fork, then spread it out on a tray and leave aside to cool.

3. Heat the ghee or butter in a wok until foaming, add the spices and stir-fry for 1 minute.

4. Add the cooled rice and stir-fry for 3 - 4 minutes until warmed through. Serve at once.

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