• Yield: Serves 8

  • Time: 30 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking, 45 minutes total

Inspired by a recipe from Moghul Microwave: Cooking Indian Food the Modern Way by Julie Sahni, in hot weather this rice begs to be served at room temperature. It is a foil for the rest of the menu, excellent with the cantaloupe, the raita, and the ribs.


  • 3 cups basmati or long-grain rice

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed

  • 3 whole cloves

  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • One 2-inch ginger root, peeled and minced

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads soaked in 1/4 cup hot water

  • 6 cups water

  • 2 boiled medium-sized red-skin potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped unshelled sugar snap peas

  • 3 whole scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, torn


1. Wash rice in a strainer. Soak in cold water to cover 30 minutes.

2. In a 6-quart pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the spices until cumin darkens. Stir in onion, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Cook until it begins to color. Blend in the ginger, saffron, water, and well-drained rice. Bring to a boil.

3. Lower heat to medium; partially cover and cook 8 to 12 minutes. Taste rice. It should be slightly underdone. Add salt if needed. Cover rice and let stand another 5 minutes or until just tender (it will finish cooking as it cools). Uncover, add potatoes and peas, and turn out onto a platter to cool. Just before serving toss lightly with the scallions, mint, and coriander, tasting for seasoning.