Gourmet Traveller|June 2020

Create simple, flavourful meals in less than 30 minutes with these everyday recipes.

Rice pilaf


Infused with saffron, cinnamon, and cardamom, and jewelled with roasted cashews, you can eat this rice dish on its own with a dollop of yoghurt, or as a side with pan-fried fish or grilled chicken.

  • 150 gm cashews
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 10 cardamom pods, bruised
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 300 gm basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 500 ml (2 cups) hot chicken stock
  • 2 large pinches saffron threads mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water
  • Coriander, coarsely chopped, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

1 Preheat oven to 250°C. Roast cashews on a tray until golden (5 minutes), then set aside.

2 Meanwhile, heat ghee in a casserole over medium-high heat. Add onion and spices and stir occasionally until tender and starting to caramelise (5 minutes). Add rice and stir to combine, then add stock and saffron and bring to a simmer. Stir, season to taste and cover with foil, then bake in oven until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (10-12 minutes).

3 Stir cashews through rice and serve topped with coriander and lime wedges to the side.

Coconut-curried lentils


Dhal is simple to prepare and packed with flavour. It tastes even better the following day.

  • 280 gm split red lentils
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 ½ tbsp hot curry powder
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • Steamed basmati rice, yoghurt and sliced cucumber, to serve


  • 50 gm ghee
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • Handful of curry leaves

1 Rinse lentils well; set aside.

2 Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until just tender and starting to turn golden (5 minutes), then stir through cinnamon and curry powder until fragrant (1 minute).

3 Add lentils to pan with coconut milk and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, lower heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender (15-20 minutes).

4 For tempered spices, heat ghee in a saucepan over high heat. Add spices and stir until fragrant (10 seconds), then add curry leaves and remove from heat. Serve dhal with tempered spices spooned over, topped with yoghurt, sliced cucumber and rice or roti on the side.


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June 2020