This simple combination of rice, boil in a 2-litre/quart saucepan over herbs, and tomato with an Italian flavour can also be used as an alternative stuffing for baked peppers.
PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes COOKING TIME: 25 – 35 minutes YIELD: enough for 4 persons
1 cup basmati or other long-grain white rice
1 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder
1 cup firm tomatoes, cut into 1.25 cm (1/2-inch) cubes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Wash, drain, and dry the rice.
Bring the water, salt, paprika, tomato paste, and basil slowly to a boil in a 2-litre/quart saucepan over moderate heat.
Heat the olive oil in a non-sticking 2-litre/quart saucepan over moderately low heat. Saute the asafoetida in the hot ghee. Add the rice and stir fry for about 2 minutes or until the rice grains turn whitish.
Pour in the boiling water. Stir, raise the heat to high, and bring the water to a full boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and gently simmer, without stirring, for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender and flaky.
Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to steam for 5 minutes with the lid on. Finally, fold in the tomatoes and fresh parsley and serve immediately.