Rice is one of our favorites to make on a weekly basis, especially for the kids.  Having a few different recipes for rice is a great way to add variety to your weekly meals.  This recipe is so simple, but full of flavor with just a few whole spices.  Also try this rice with a punch of nutrients with the added spinach, my kids love this. Rice/spinach pilaf

For all South Asian recipes I always use Basmati rice. You can find this type of rice at many American or international grocery stores. I use just a few whole spices for this recipe: cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and black cardamom. Even if you don’t have all the spices on hand that is ok. Just give it a try with what you have on hand. Sometimes I only use cumin for this rice and it comes out great.

This delicious and simple rice will serve great with any curry from the blog.


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup basmati rice (rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 brown cardamom (crush open)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • few small cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2-1 tsp. salt to taste


  • Use a heavy bottom pan
  • Heat oil on medium
  • Add all spices
  • Saute till change of color, will get more brown, and you will be able to smell the aromas. This can be about 15-20 seconds. Keep close eye on it, spices can burn easily
  • Add water. Be very careful because it will splatter. Mix
  • Add rice. Let it come to boil on medium/low till some water has evaporated from the top and you are able to see the rice.
  • Turn heat to low cover the pot with tight lid. Let it cook for about 11 minutes. Make sure heat is low or rice will burn and stick at bottom. Now the rice will be cooking in the steam.
  • Check rice towards end of cooking time, water should be all absorbed, fluff with fork


The ratio I use for rice is for 1 cup of rice 1 1/2 cups of water. If you like your rice a little more on the softer side you can use 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.
I always rinse the rice till the water runs clear. I don't soak basmati rice. I feel like it tends to break the grains when cooked.
Always check the rice towards the end of the cooking time. The steam will escape and that can prevent the rice from fluffy up.
Use a nonstick pan if you are worried about the rice sticking to the bottom of pan.
Author: Shazia


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