Hara Masala Coconut Rice

This rice dish is the perfect side for all your summer barbecues – it pairs perfectly with all kinds of grilled veggies, fish and meat, and particularly well with Caribbean, Southeast Asian, or desi menus. I would describe it as intensely pleasant. The flavors aren’t huge and bold, and it’s not exactly the star of the table, but it’s a fantastic supporting actor; for whatever reason it was the leftovers I was most excited to eat again!

Hara Masala Coconut Rice

For the hara masala:

  • 1/2 bunch mint
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • handful basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2 green chilis, optional (I left out for kids)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Combine mint, cilantro, basil, garlic, ginger, chilis if using and turmeric in a food processor.

For the rice:

  • 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed well and soaked for half an hour
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, use oil to make a vegan dish
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 can) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • green masala (above)
  • toasted coconut and chopped green onions or herbs for serving

Heat ghee (I did the onion and spices in a wok then transferred to a pot, you can do that or just do everything in the pot) and fry onion, stirring, until VERY golden brown – un-goldened onion ends up as slimy strips in your rice, so make sure to cook thoroughly! Add cinnamon, cloves, cumin and black pepper and stir for a moment or two. Transfer everything to the pot (if you’re not there already), and add bayleaf, coconut milk, water and salt, and bring to a boil. Turn on another eye of the stove to low, you’ll move the pot here in a minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Stir in the hara masala, cover the pot with a tea towel first with the top over that. Transfer to the other eye on low, and let steam for 20 minutes.

To serve, transfer to a serving dish and top with toasted coconut, green onions or herbs. Serve hot!

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