In the midst of it all a real welcome change was a product review – a request sent to me by Sabina Lama on behalf of her client – Star Bazar, a Tata Enterprise, who wanted to know if I was interested in reviewing one of the several in-house food products that were recently launched. I welcomed this opportunity as it would give me a chance to escape from the mundane and try out new products and give my opinion on how I liked them. I decided to prepare something simple out of the two products that I chose to review ~ Star Saver Tibar Basmati Rice and Star Cow Ghee. This way I would be able to enjoy both the products in the same dish. No prizes for guessing what I decided to prepare. Yes! a pulao!
Star Cow Ghee is an aromatic ghee that suits Indian cooking so beautifully. It is made with 100% fresh cow’s milk and is rich in vitamin A and beta carotene. It has a granular texture with a fresh & authentic taste & aroma and is hygienically packed in a modern dairy plant. This ghee of superior quality is reasonably priced and is available in packs of 500ml and 1 litre respectively.
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 25 mins | Serves 3-4
- 1-1/2 cups long grain basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup fresh peas shelled
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 green cardamoms, bruised
- 5 peppercorns
- 3-4 cloves
- 1″ stick cassia bark or cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium sized onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons ginger & garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- salt to taste (approx 1-1/4 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons ghee
1. Rinse the rice in a couple of changes of water and soak it for 20 mins.
2. Heat ghee in a large deep pan and toss in cassia bark/cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms, peppercorns and bay leaf and let them sizzle for a couple of seconds. Add the cumin seeds and reduce the flame to ensure that they don’t get burnt.
3. Toss in the ginger & garlic paste and let it fry lightly for about 10 seconds and then add the chopped onions and fry till they turn pale golden. Meanwhile in another pan bring the 3 cups of water to a boil and keep it ready.
4. Add the peas to the fried onions and fry for about a minute and then add the rice and fry on a slow flame for about 3-4 minutes or till the rice begins to feel heavy while stirring – this is a good sign that it is time to add the water. If you continue to stir the rice beyond this point it will begin to break
5. Add the freshly boiled water to the rice, salt to taste, sugar & lime juice and do a quick taste check. The mixture should taste sweet-salty and mildly sour in order to impart the right amount of flavour to the rice. Adjust the flavour if required. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil (let it bubble well), then reduce the flame completely to a sim.
6. Cover the mouth of the pan with a tightly fitting lid – ensure that no steam is able to escape. You may even cover it with aluminium foil & then place the lid over it and a weight (a heavy mortar & pestle will do). Let the rice cook for 14 minutes on this very slow flame (see notes). Don’t forget to keep a timer!
7. On completion of 14 minutes, turn off the flame and let it sit for 2 minutes. Open the pan and gently fluff the grains with a fork and cover & keep for another 5 minutes.
8. Serve hot with raita or a veg or non veg dish of your choice or eat it plain!
1. The cooking time of the rice greatly depends on the quality & quantity used. If you are using a superior quality of rice, it will take more or less 12-15 minutes to fluff up well (when cooked in a pan). Pressure cooking will greatly reduce the time taken to cook the rice.