This fragrant rice, studded with nuts and sultanas, is perfect with curry, or as part of a tiffin. 






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Serve this as part of Gary's vegetable curry tiffin


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 200 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • pinch cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamom
  • pinch mace
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch saffron threads
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp pistachios
  • 1 tbsp cashews
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 1 tbsp ghee or vegan butter substitute

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: 25 minutes

Standing time after cooking: 15 minutes


Soak the rice for 25 minutes and then rinse well until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, pour the oil into a deep-sided pan and place over a high heat. Heat to 170°C and scatter in the finely sliced onion. Fry carefully, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown; remove onto paper towel and set aside. Repeat for the garlic slices and set aside.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil and add the cumin, cardamom and mace. Cook for 30 seconds until they pop and release their aroma, then add the rice and stir. Cook for another minute stirring occasionally. Add the water and then the saffron and the pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, stir and cover with a lid.

Reduce heat to moderate and cook gently until the water has evaporated and there are pencil-sized holes in the top of the rice. Give the rice a final stir. Sprinkle over the nuts and sultanas, pop the lid back on and turn off the heat. Leave for 15 minutes. Lift the lid, add the ghee (or butter substitute) and give the rice a final stir then sprinkle on the crispy onions and garlic. Serve.