Rice is a staple of many diets across the world. It's endlessly flexible and variable; it can be a dessert, a side dish, a main dish. As good as plain white rice can be, we love to dress up our rice just a little. All it takes is a pinch of this and that...
This slightly sweet and nutty rice has the golden flavor of saffron that spreads throughout the dish as the rice cooks. It also has tender little peas and cashews that have been softened in cooking. This mix of colors and flavors is warming and refreshing. We serve it with good lamb curry or eat it on its own with a little yogurt for a light vegetarian dinner.
Saffron Rice with Peas and Cashews
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups Basmati rice, well-rinsed and washed
1/2 teaspoon (2 pinches) saffron threads
1 cup unroasted, lightly salted cashew halves
1 cup frozen organic peas
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Wash and drain rice. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 4-quart pot. Add the rice and fry a couple minutes. Add the saffron threads and cashew halves and fry for another minute. Add the peas, fry for a few moments, then add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes.
Take off the lid and turn the heat off. Stir in the garam masala and salt to taste. Let the rice sit to "dry" for a few minutes. Serve.