Spiced rice is an ever present dish in almost all of traditional Maharashtrian weddings and festivals. This rice is usually served right after plain rice and daal. The usual accompaniment for this rice is cold buttermilk spiced with Ginger and cilantro. I make this rice quite often whether its a festival or not. Takes me back a few years into my childhood memories of traditional weddings that I attended and the festivals that we used celebrate with a ton of cousins around.
Rice preferably short grain
Cabbage cut thin and small 1 cup
Eggplant small Indian 2 cut in medium to small pieces
Canola oil 1 tbsp
Chili Powder ½ tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Curry leaves 5 -6
Cinnamon 1 inch
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Coriander seeds ½ tsp
Mustard Seeds ½ tsp
Shredded Coconut 2 -3 Tbsp
Cilantro for garnish a handful
Wash the rice twice using two changes of water and set aside to soak for at least half an hour. Cut the vegetables while the rice is soaking.
In a grinder, grind the Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin and Coriander seeds. Since the quantity is very small, I use my small Mortar and Pestle for this. Set the spices aside.
Either in the pressure cooker vessel or the pan that you are going to use to make the rice, heat the oil. Add mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add Asafetida and turmeric powder. Add the vegetables and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the water from the soaking rice. Add the rice to the pan and sauté for another 2 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Finally add water about 2 cups. Add the ground spices and chili powder and coconut. Let the rice cook. If you are not making it in a pressure cooker, cover the pan and keep checking every few minutes and add water if necessary.
When done, take off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
Garnish with Cilantro and enjoy.