Cinnamon Basmati Rice with Golden Raisins

Photo: Dana Gallagher

Basmati rice has a sweet, nutty flavor; in Hindi, the word basmati means "queen of fragrance."


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into ¼-inch dice

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice

  • 1 whole bay leaf

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • cup golden raisins

  • 2 cups water

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Melt butter in a medium high-sided saucepan set over medium heat. Add onion, cloves, and cinnamon; cook until onion becomes translucent and mixture is very fragrant.

  2. Place rice in sieve, and rinse under cold running water. Add rice to saucepan, and stir so grains are coated in butter mixture.

  3. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, raisins, salt, and pepper to saucepan. Stir in 2 cups water. Raise heat, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until all water has been absorbed and rice has cooked, 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Remove pan from heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.


Omit ground cloves and ground cinnamon and replace with a green cardamom pod.

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