Here's a quick way of turning yesterday's plain rice into a fragrant, pale yellow mound with turmeric-tinted onions and bright flecks of green chile.
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1/4 cup raw cashews
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound onions (3 to 4), thinly sliced into rings or half circles
4 jalapeños, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
5 fresh or dried curry leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups cooked Govindobhog Rice or Basmati Rice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
How to Make It
In a large heavy skillet, toast the cashews over high heat, stirring constantly, until golden. Remove from the heat and stir for 15 seconds, then transfer to a plate.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the asafetida and stir briefly to dissolve, then stir in the mustard seeds. When they stop popping, stir in the turmeric. Toss in the onions, jalapeños, ginger and curry leaves and stir to coat with the oil.
Lower heat to moderate and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the salt and sugar. Add the rice; gently turn and stir until well mixed and heated through. Drizzle in the lime juice and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Discard the curry leaves. Mound the pullao on a deep platter, top with the cashews and serve.
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