|One of the most common culinary plants of India, its seeds roasted and crushed or just left raw to use as spice, its leaves chopped and used to dress salads and soups, curries and cuisines of many kinds, its medicinal uses are many…be it a thrush of the mouth when we rush to mix it with warm water and use as gargle or take the case of conjunctivitis when it is mixed with cold water and used as eye lotion. Called by the name of Coriander or Cilantro, its seeds and leaves are both indispensable to spice and dress our cooking or to cure the ones who are ailing.
Extract from The Herbarius Litnus: “Mark that the juice of coriander blown up the nostrils restrains nosebleeds. . . And coriander is effective in tremors of the heart when its powder is given with borage water.”
Preparation Time: 10 min
Serves: 4 persons
Basmati Rice 1 cup (250 gms)
Raw coconut grated 2 tbsp
Green chilli 3 nos. chopped
Ginger 1/2” pc
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Saunf (Fennel seeds) ½ tsp
Fresh coriander leaves ½ cup packed
Oil 2 tbsp
Bay leaf 1 (break it to slightly smaller size)
Cinnamon ½” pc
Clove 2 nos.
Pepper 6 to 8 corns
Cashewnuts 10 to 12 nos. (optional)
Onion 1 no. (medium size, thinly sliced)
Turmeric A pinch
Salt to taste 2 tsps approx.
Ground Masala (transfer from mixie)
Peas 50 gms
Soaked Basmati Rice
Water 2 cups (use same size cup that you used for measuring rice)
Wash basmati rice in running cold water. Soak it in water. Let it stand for about half an hour. Also wash coriander leaves (roots removed), green chillies and ginger thoroughly with water. Drain out the water. Meanwhile….
Peel the skin of ginger and onion. Chop ginger and green chillies to smaller bits (for faster grinding). Chop the onions into thin slices. Grate fresh raw coconut and keep aside. If the stalks of coriander leaves are tender, use them too along with the leaves for grinding. You are now ready for grinding.
Grind all the ingredients listed above “For grinding” to make a smooth paste. Get ready for seasoning….
Heat oil in a pressure pan in low flame. Add ingredients listed above “For seasoning” in the same order. When cashews turn golden brown add sliced onions immediately followed by salt and turmeric. When onions turn transparent, add the ground masala. Fry for about 5 min. Now drain the water in basmati rice, keep aside this water to use it a while later for cooking. Transfer rice to the pan and continue frying for another 5 min. Now add the drained water, mix them well, cover with a lid and weight on, turn the flame towards high and pressure cook for up to 2 whistles. Switch off the flame. Let it cool completely. Fluff up the rice slowly and gently using a fork or spatula. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves if you wish.
Coriander Rice is now ready. Serve it with plain curd, spicy raitha, pickle and/or roasted/fried papad or side it with spicy potato curry or cauliflower curry.
Green beans, Potatoes, Carrots, Cauliflower may also be used.
Onions can be skipped if you wish.
Adjust quantity of green chillies, pepper corns and ginger to suit your choice.
Using Coconut milk (as against just grated coconut) adds to the flavour and taste.