- 1 cup Mansa Basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 2-3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Salt, to taste
- Fresh curry leaves (if available)
- 2-3 cups of vegetables (peas, carrots, beans, etc.), diced
- Optional: 1/4 cup dried fish flakes (usually used in Maldivian cuisine, but you can omit it for a vegetarian version)
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish.
Rinse the Rice: Begin by rinsing the Basmati rice in cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and ensures the rice grains will remain separate when cooking. Let the rice drain.
Prepare the Vegetables: Dice the vegetables into small, even pieces. Traditionally, Maldivian rice pilaf uses local vegetables like Muranga (drumstick) and pumpkin, but you can use other readily available options.
Heat Ghee or Oil: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or pan, heat the ghee or vegetable oil over medium heat.
Sauté Aromatics: Add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies, and curry leaves (if available) to the pot. Sauté them until the onions become translucent and fragrant.
Add Spices: Add the cumin seeds and turmeric powder to the sautéed aromatics. Stir and cook for a minute or two to toast the spices.
Add Rice: Add the drained Basmati rice to the pot and sauté for a couple of minutes. This will allow the rice to absorb the flavors from the spices and aromatics.
Add Vegetables: Add the diced vegetables and dried fish flakes (if using). Stir well to combine everything.
Add Water: Pour in the water and add salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Simmer: Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed. You can also use a heat diffuser if available to prevent sticking.
Fluff and Serve: Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, if desired.