Friday, September 9, 2016

Basmati Rice and Peas And Cucumber Raita

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 

To link to Cookbook Countdown Specials : BAKE, click here
To link to Cookbook Countdown #9, click here


My selected cookbook for this month at Cookbook Countdown #9 is 500 Curries, by Mridula Baljekar.

I've made Cucumber Raita and Basmati Rice and Peas along with two other dishes for an Indian weeknight meal.

I've used my homemade yoghurt to make the Cucumber Raita, and homegrown jalapeno chilli. Lightly perfumed with the ground cumin, very nice raita.

I've cooked the basmati rice in the rice cooker. At step 4 after adding the rice, peas and water to the sauteed ingredients, transfer everything to the rice cooker. We had this Basmati Rice and Peas served with Madras Meat Curry, Karahi Potatoes with Whole Spices and Mixed Chillies, along with the Cucumber Raita. Very delicious meal! 

Basmati Rice and Peas
(adapted from "500 Curries", Mridula Baljekar)
Serves 4
300gm (1-1/2 cups) basmati rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6-8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp onion seeds
2 tbsp fresh fenugreek leaves (I've used 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
1 tsp salt
1 cup frozen peas
475ml (2 cups) water

  1. Wash the rice well under cold running water and leave it to soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add the curry leaves, mustard seeds, onion seeds, fenugreek leaves, garlic, ginger and salt and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Drain the rice thoroughly, and add it to the pan with the other ingredients. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Add the frozen peas and water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.
  5. When ready to serve, fluff up the rice with a fork. Spoon the mixture on to serving plates and serve immediately.

Cucumber Raita
Makes about 2-1/2 cups
1/2 cucumber
1 fresh green chilli, seeded and chopped
1-1/4 cups natural (plain) yoghurt
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

  1. Dice the cucumber finely and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the chopped green chilli and mix well to combine it with the cucumber.
  2. Place the natural yoghurt in a bowl and bear it with a fork until it becomes smooth, then stir it into the cucumber and chilli mixture in the large bowl.
  3. Stir the salt and ground cumin into the yoghurt mixture. Cover the bowl with clear film (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #9 hosted by 


  1. Joyce, wow!! I'm sure your basmati rice definitely smells very good with all the herbs in it. I absolutely love cucumber raita! I want to try these 2 recipes out :)

  2. Looks delicious! And if I close my eyes I can even smell it!

  3. That looks like a fabulous meal Joyce and so full of flavour with all of the spices used. An Indian feast for the senses!

  4. I think this rice would be wonderful with just about any curry. YUM!

  5. Hi Joyce, it looks so yummy. I'm imagining the smells now...