Vagharela Chawal (Parsi Brown Rice) – without sugar version
- Basmati rice, 2 cups
- Green cardamom, 3-4
- Cloves, 4-5
- Bayleaves, 2
- Cinnamon, 1” stick
- Star Anise, ½ piece
- Black peppercorns, 8-10
- Onions, 2 large, finely sliced
- Ghee/Clarified butter (or oil), 2 tbsp
- Salt, to taste
- Water, 4 cups
Wash the rice till water runs clear, soak for 15-20 minutes in cold water and drain in a colander
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed deep pan. Lower the heat and add green cardamoms, cloves, bayleaves, cinnamon, star anise and black peppercorns.
When the spices start to sizzle, add the onions. Fry the onions till they turn golden brown – patience is the key here, as on high heat onions will burn and if the onions are not properly browned, rice will lack that colour.
Add in the drained out rice and salt. Gently mix everything so that the rice gets nicely coated with ghee – do the mixing gently so that the rice grains don’t break up.
Add in the water now and increase the heat. Give a final stir.
Once the water comes to a boil, cover with a tight fighting lid and lower the heat. Let it cook till all the water evaporates and rice is cooked.
Lightly fluff up the rice with a fork. Cover the mouth of the pan with a thick kitchen towel and put the lid back on. Remove the lid and towel after 10 minutes.
Typically served with Dhanshak (meat with lentils) but goes quite well with all other dals, curries and kababs as well.
- Do adjust the amount of water used to the kind of rice you use.
- The original Parsi rice version with sugar gives a darker richer brown colour and is posted here