Saturday, December 13, 2008

Banana Leaf Rice

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.

41 comments:

arundati said...

oh wow!! this looks so delicious....the flavour of the banana leaves mingling with the rice and curry.....

Pearlsofeast said...

wow this sounds awesome and the aroma of banana leaf infused in the rice must be delectable.

natalia said...

Ciao ! I would like to eat it from the computer !! Is it too bad with the foil ? I'll try it even so !

Shama Nagarajan said...

wow.wish to hv a plate

Sunshinemom said...

This one is new to me. What a unique and great way to serve! Thanks for the idea and the recipe!

DEESHA said...

wow that sounds nice. eating on banana leaf does really enhance the flavor of food, steaming rice with the banana leaf must have done wonders

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely,the flavour of leaf is infused into the rice.Delish and healthy

Madhu said...

this is such a treat, steaming rice in a bananna leaf.... awesome!

Uma said...

what a nice idea to steam rice in banana leaf. Looks and sounds awesome.

Uma said...

what a nice idea to steam rice in banana leaf. Looks and sounds awesome.

Rajani said...

wow i am sure it must be yummy! but i doubt making the same with aluminiumfoilwill be as good- there's something about banana leaf!! but seriously looksgood.

Srivalli said...

Thats such a neat idea anu..I am sure it tasted great!

Priya said...

Can guess how tasty this banana leaf rice...great one!!!

rekhas kitchen said...

wow wow wow mouthwatering will try this soon can not waite

Arundathi said...


Thanks everyone. Yes the banana leaf definitely lends a lovely flavor to the rice.

Natalia/ Rajani - I used to make it with foil all the time when I lived in the US and it still tastes great.

Happy cook said...

I have neve rhad tgis, but i can really imagine the aroma and the taste. Just the thought make me to grap that and eat.

Bharti said...

That looks fan-tas-tic!

Aparna said...

I have had many different food steamed in banana leaves, but this is new to me.
It almost seems like a steamed biriyani without the veggies.:)

farida said...

I've seen fish wrapped in banana leaves, but never rice. This is unique! Looks great!

Anonymous said...

How do youparboil the rice?
Thanks
Padma

Soma said...

Wow this is something completely new to me. I am familiar with the flavor banana leaf imparts to rice. back home when we were served food on banana leaves, the serving of super hot rice on the leaf where the leaf would darken instantly would release that flavor I loved so much! what a great idea. now i cannot wait till summer till my little banana tree grows.

Sharmi said...

never heard of this recipe. looks very authentic and nice.

Uj said...

wow.. this is new to me... It must have acquired a delicious aroma :)

Arundathi said...


Thanks all!

Padma, to parboil rice, you cook it till just al-dente or slightly undercooked. Since we are steaming it in in the banana leaf, you don't want to cook it too much beforehand. Hope that helps.

Madhuram said...

I know about ilai adai which is used to make pradhamn but not rice. Nice one.

Chandani said...

such a unique way of serving rice..looks just great:)

Mallika said...

what a fab idea! I bet it tasted amazing. What did she serve it with?

Usha said...

Wow, fantastic idea, I am sure the banana leaf really added an awesome flavor to the rice...

Supriya Raman said...

This is like an Indian Tamale!! Very innovative.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Arundhathi.
Padma

Jude said...

So interested in that flavoring paste. I love rice cooked in banana leaves... Adds a subtle taste.

PurpleFoodie said...

Hmm you've been MIA for a bit. Keep chekcing in every few days. Hope all's well! :)

Syrie said...

When I first looked at the picture I thought this was a Thai dessert of sticky rice with duck egg custard on top. It looks ands sounds so intriguing. I've got all the ingredients so I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for the recipe. Have a happy new year! Syrie

Jeena said...

Tasty rice! I love it wrapped in a banana leaf. :-)

Cynthia said...

I've bookmarked this. Definitely got to give it a try.

Sunshinemom said...

Happy New Year, Anu:)

Sig said...

Dear Arundathi, wish you and family a fantastic new year filled with love and joy!

Bharti said...

A very Happy New Year to you and the family dear Arundathi.

Arundathi said...

Thanks everyone - it definitely is a lovely delicately flavored rice.

Mallika - she served it with chicken curry. I got to eat it by itself which was great! :-)

PurpleFoodie - Yup, was a bit caught up in the craziness of Dec - hope to be back now. Thanks for asking!

Syrie - happy new year. I hope you enjoyed the rice.

Sunshinemom - happy new year :)

Sig - thank you, dear Sig. Happy new year!

Bharti - And to you and yours too! thanks!

Nithya Praveen said...

Wow...looks delicious.Yummy!

Arundathi said...

thanks nithya