Festival Rice
November, 2004

Serves 8–10 / Myriad flavors and textures enliven this sumptuous holiday rice. In Ayurvedic cooking, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves soothe tension and promote good health. Remove whole spices before serving.

1-1/2 cups uncooked white basmati rice
1 tablespoon ghee or canola oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 cups water
1/4 cup black raisins
6 whole cloves
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas, thawed

1. Rinse and drain rice. Heat ghee or oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add fennel seeds and toast until lightly browned. Add rice, water, raisins, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toast almonds and coconut in a dry skillet until golden brown.
3. When rice is fully cooked, fluff with a fork. Gently stir in almonds, coconut, grated carrots, and peas. (The hot rice cooks the carrots and peas while preserving maximum nutrition.) Serve hot.

PER SERVING: 218 cal, 25% fat cal, 6g fat, 3g sat fat, 4mg chol, 4g protein, 37g carb, 2g fiber, 155mg sodium