Guaranteed you will enjoy this nicely textured, versatile side dish that tastes a whole lot more complicated than it actually is to make!
- 2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons oil or butter
- 1 1/2 cups minced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced or crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 cup raisins (dark or golden – or a combination)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated orange or lemon zest (or a combination)
- 1 1/2 cups minced California walnuts, lightly toasted
- About 10 fresh mint leaves, in very thin strips (“chiffonade”) - optional
- Place the rice and water in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer undisturbed over low heat until tender (about 40 minutes). (If the rice is still underdone at this point, it is okay to splash in up to 1/4 cup more water, and cook a little further.)
- Meanwhile, heat the oil or melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, fennel seeds and salt. Sauté over low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the onion is very soft. Remove from heat.
- When the rice is tender to your liking, fluff it with a fork to separate the grains, and transfer to a serving bowl. Stir in the onion mixture, working it in with a fork to thoroughly combine. Add the raisins, citrus zest, and walnuts as you stir.
- Top with the mint chiffonade, if desired, and serve right away.