This is a wonderful and an extremely easy to make and rice dish that is delicious on its own served with a side dish of yogurt as a complete vegetarian meal or as a nice complement to my version of baked chicken.
If you are married to a finicky Emirati husband who is reluctant to try dishes that he did not grow up with then this dish, in my opinion, with the spices I have used gives it a close enough Arab or Indian flavor that he will be used to. I am sure that this will become a family favorite.
This recipe can easily be doubled and is terrific to take to a potluck or Ramadan get-together.
2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked for at least 30 minutes
2 tablespoons of ghee
½ cup of chopped onion
1 cup of chopped tomato
¼ cup of chopped cilantro
½ cup of chopped green bell pepper
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
1 green chili chopped; or deseeded and chopped (this ingredient is optional)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
¼ teaspoon red Kashmiri chili powder
1 cinnamon stick
2 Maggi chicken stock cubes
Pinch of black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups of hot water
In a large pot, sauté the onion in the ghee until lightly browned.
Add the tomatoes, bell pepper and cilantro. Stir well.
Add all of the spices, Maggi stock cubes, and tomato paste. Mix well.
Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Drain the rice and then add to the pot.
Add the 3 cups of hot water. Gently stir.
Bring to a boil. Lower the fire to very low and cover. Cook for 17 minutes.