Spiced basmati rice

This recipe takes simple basmati rice and kicks it up a notch. It’s easy and is worth the little bit of extra effort to add something special to this side dish. Try making it with our chana masala. Maybe leave the chickpeas out of the rice if you do.

Adapted from The New York Times. We skip the turmeric because Kelly is allergic! Bummer. Most people aren’t, so add 1 tsp turmeric along with the rest of the spices as you please.

Makes 3-4 serves (depending on how hungry Nic is).


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced orange bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  •  teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cups basmati rice
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth (we typically use vegetable bouillon cubes at half strength)
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  •  Salt to taste (optional)


In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mustard seeds, cloves and cinnamon, and sauté for 1 minute. Add rice and mix until well coated with oil and spices.

Add vegetable broth and chickpeas. Stir briefly, and allow to return to a boil. Cover, and cook on lowest possible heat for 20 minutes. (We have issues getting our gas stove to cook at a low enough flame, so we typically turn the burner on low for 2-3 minutes, then off for 5 or so minutes, and repeat until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, checking after 20 minutes.)

To serve, fluff rice with a fork, and add salt to taste (optional).



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