Rice is the ideal side for soaking up sauces and balancing out spicy dishes. This Middle Eastern recipe for basic white rice is kicked up a notch with chopped fresh dill and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
In this Middle Eastern recipe, basmati rice, a very long-grain white rice, is used. Basmati is treasured for its light and fluffy qualities and that it does not stick together as easily as plain long-grain white rice.
The rice should be soaked for two hours before cooking, so plan accordingly.
- 2 cups white basmati rice (uncooked and soaked)
- 2 cups water (or chicken broth)
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)
- 1 1/2 cups dill (fresh, chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Rinse rice and soak in cold water for 2 hours.
In a medium saucepan, bring water or chicken broth to a boil and add bouillon stirring to combine.
Drain rice and add it along with the lemon juice to the boiling water or chicken broth and stir. Add dill and salt. Stir and cover.
Reduce heat to low and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until rice is done.
Fluff with a fork and serve immediately.
Rinsing and Soaking Rice
Most white long-grain rice does not have to be soaked, although a good rinse is not a bad idea. Basmati rice, on the other hand, and other types of imported rice do need to be soaked. It separates the grains and allows for a more fluffy, less sticky rice that is not likely to clump together. It also takes less time to cook.
Jasmine Rice vs. Basmati Rice
Jasmine rice, commonly found in Persian cuisine, is another type of long-grain white rice with a nutty flavor that has a more subtle flavor than basmati rice. Jasmine rice can be substituted for basmati rice in Middle Eastern dishes to good effect.
As with basmati rice, jasmine rice should be soaked for two hours. The cooking methods and times are the same.
More Basmati Rice Dishes
Saffron Pilaf Recipe: This Middle Eastern rice dish is easy to prepare and great anytime but especially when served with chicken dishes because it is cooked in chicken broth.
Tahdig Rice Recipe: This Persian dish can be made either with basmati rice or jasmine rice. It is the highly prized crusted rice found at the bottom of the saucepan after rice cooks served as is or to accompany stews and other saucy dishes.