Fluffy, exotic mixed rice for an Indian spring

“I’ll never forget the first time I bit into a cardamom in one of my dad’s curries – it was quite the shock to an eight-year old mouth”

Simon Hopkinson, in Food And Travel Magazine

This dish represents a triumph for me. For decades the Chief Taster has been in charge of rice. He, and the rest of the family, were of the firm opinion that he was the rice expert, and I was better off in the soups and salads department. But I’ve now made this a few times, and the last time the CT commented, “I really like the way you do rice these days”.

This makes a good, simple lunch for two. The Indian spices, in particular the cardamom, give it an exotic perfume, the asparagus is perfect for spring, and the crispy shallots and cashews give it texture. Even better, what does work wonderfully well is using red onion with pistachios. The green of the whole green pistachos complements the red of the onion; and the green pea-sized pistachios provide a sort of visual witticism with the peas.

It makes an interesting, and different, lunch. Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients – most are spices which you either have, or do not have to hand. If you don’t have them, just leave them out. But the cardamom pods give a wonderful fragrance – try to include those.

If you have any leftover chicken it becomes a substantial and excellent dinner.

Very conveniently this dish heats up well in a large frying pan with butter. Reheat the asparagus separately in the oven.

Outside the asparagus season you could substitute a hard-fried, just-blistered green pepper; or quick-boiled green beans.

indian spice rice recipe
Easy roast asparagus
indian spice rice recipe
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