cilantro flavored basmati rice + invite to a biryani cooking challenge

by Heguiberto on October 10, 2011

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I think cilantro, parsley and basil are the top three most popular herbs present in our cooking. Every time we go shopping for the week we make sure we stock on these incredible herbs. Routinely we’ll have basil or parsley pesto either with pasta or used as a flavor enhancer in something else. I like cilantro in soup or salsa.

cilantro flavored basmati rice

cilantro flavored basmati rice

But sometimes we over-buy, and since these beauties are highly perishable, occasionally we need a simple flavorful way to use up the extra.

This time I turned some extra cilantro we had in the fridge into a sort of a pesto sauce that was subsequently cooked with basmati rice. It is a very aromatic and flavorful dish you can serve as a side with grilled fish, shrimp or tofu. We had ours with another favorite: garlicky bean stew!

cilantro flavored basmati rice

1½ cups basmati rice, rinsed
2¾ cups water
1 large bunch cilantro, rinsed
1 green chili pepper, seeds and ribs removed
¼ small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
wedges of lime for decoration

Heat up a saucepan with olive oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add basmati rice, garlic, bay leaf, salt and toss to coat, cooking for a minute or so until raw garlic smell is gone. Add in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce temperature to medium low. Cover.

Meanwhile place cilantro, ½ cup of water and chili pepper in the food processor. Blend into a runny pesto. Add it to rice with remaining ¼ cup water. Cover and let it cook until juices are absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let it rest for 8 minutes, lid on. Serve with cilantro leaves and wedges of lime or lemon.

And now for the latest all-bloggers-welcome food challenge: create your own biryani! I feel like that guy from the Iron Chef who gets so excited at the beginning of the show when he reveals the secret ingredient: BIRYANI, yeah! Here are several suggested recipes that the oh, so charming and endlessly fascinating Heavenly has assembled, but don’t feel restricted in any way: a, b, c, d.

According to Wikipedia, my go-to for last-minute information on food and wine, biryani, generally considered a rice dish layered with a flavorful sauce containing meat, fish or veggies, is thought to have originated in Iran and migrated across much of Asia and Arabia. There’s a wide range of possible ingredients and flavors that you can use to assemble yours; the sky’s the limit. I’m really excited by this savory challenge, and hope that you’ll join in the fun.

can't wait for the biryani challenge!!!

can't wait for the biryani challenge!!!

All you need do is let Heavenly or me know that you’re in, make your biryani any which way and publish it on November 8th. All participants will be contacted before to put links to everyone’s blogs on their page for the challenge. That’s it! Can’t wait to see your marvelous creations.

“Allez cuisine!”

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife October 10, 2011 at 4:33 am

Beautiful rice dish! Do you ever eat at Chipotle? You can use this rice as a base for a really awesome burrito wrap like they do.
Can’t wait to see the incredible biriyani dish you make, i know its going to be fabulous!
*kisses* HH
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Anna October 10, 2011 at 6:29 am

Heavenly is so smart! I kind of secretly love some of the flavors chipotle puts together in their rice and barbacoa. This looks super delicious…. and I am just learning to like cilantro in things (I am one of those people who think it tastes like soap.) But I need to branch out and get brave!! Might have to join y’all in the new challenge- never made biryani before but would like to!! MM
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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors October 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

Hi Hegui – Will you be totally disappointe if I link my authentic dum pukht Boryani from 14th century India? I am kinda a purist when it comes to Biryani :)

chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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tigerfish October 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Cilantro and green onions are the most popular in my cooking :) ..and definitely , I like the fragrance of your cilantro -flavored basmatic rice.

Heguiberto October 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

HH,

This rice recipe is similar to that of Chipotle. We’ve eaten there a couple of times. I haven’t seen them in SF. I think its because of the competition with so many Taquerías. Taquerias here are just like the pubs in London. One in every corner. We love it!

Hegs

tasteofbeirut October 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I love green rice and will try your technique of incorporating the cilantro next time!! I am excited about this next challenge and hope I can participate (got a lot on my plate at the moment). Biryani is a big favorite in my world too.
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Priya @ MyKitchenOdyssey October 23, 2013 at 8:22 am

Hi heigui,
I always have a love for biriyani.I am veggie but get tempted when my better half eats chicken biriyani.
Lovely flavourful biriyani you might have enjoyed ?.I will be linking my basmati rice dishes.
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