Challaw (Afghan Cumin & Cardamom Rice)
This recipe was adapted from the New York Times. Original recipe here.
- 2 cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon Rumi Spice whole cumin seeds
- ½ cup sunflower or grapeseed oil
In a large pot with a lid, bring 8 1/2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, drain the rice in a large fine-mesh sieve or colander and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Add the rice and 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt or fine salt) to the boiling water. Boil uncovered, until the grains seem to have doubled in length, 5 to 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or kettle, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil and keep at a simmer. Place the cardamom pods on a cutting board and lightly crack them with the side of a large knife.
Drain the parboiled rice in the sieve or colander and return the rice to the pot. Add the cracked cardamom pods and any seeds that may have popped out, the cumin seeds and 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt or fine salt). Mix gently to combine, taking care to not break the rice grains. Drizzle with the oil and the just-boiled water from the saucepan, and stir gently to coat the rice.
Cover the pot and cook over high heat until steam escapes from beneath the lid, 3 to 6 minutes. This is a critical step in preparing the rice to avoid overcooking it. Once you see the steam, reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is gone, another 20 minutes. Serve immediately.