I first had this at a friend's house and loved it. The entire house smelled great and we really couldn't stop eating the rice. Gorgeous spicy rice steamed in a banana leaf - it was flavorful and delicious!
Banana Leaf Rice
For the rice:
2 cups Basmati Rice
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified Butter (I used regular vegetable oil)
Salt, to taste
For the curry:
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
2 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified Butter (I used regular vegetable oil)
Grind to a paste:
1 medium Onion, chopped fine
2 tbsp Coconut
6 Red Chillies
2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 pieces Cardamom
1/2" piece Ginger
3 cloves Garlic
For the rice: Parboil the rice and set aside. In a saucepan, heat the ghee and add cumin and fry till it turns a light brown. Add the cooked rice and some salt and mix to combine.
For the curry: Heat the ghee and fry the ground paste for 3-4 minutes or until the raw smell disappears. Add the tomato puree and salt and cook for a minute.
Cut the banana leaves or pieces of aluminum foil into medium sized squares. In each square, spread one portion of rice and top it with a few tablespoons of the curry. Fold the individual packets (fasten the banana leaves with toothpicks).
Steam the banana leaves for atleast 15 minutes. If using foil, bake in an oven at 450 deg F for 25 minutes.
Remove and serve individual packets to each guest, and let them unwrap the packets themselves - that way the rice stays hot and the aroma from the packets isn't lost.