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Nov 7, 2011 07:00 PM

What's with the take-out basmati rice from Malabar Hill?

My wife brought home takeout food from the Elmsford-based Indian restaurant Malabar Hill tonight, really on a fluke. Normally, we don't take out food from there (we live about 15+ minutes away) but she happened to pass by there on the way home from an event she attended for my daughter.

While the food was OK, we noticed the strangest things in the boxes of rice that came with the food: leaves, fairly large cinnamon sticks, and other little objects.

I've had Indian take-out from several place around Westchester, but never did I think I would find a rather aromatic forest mixed in with my basmati rice.

It struck me as strange.

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  1. Hey, sounds like you got yourself some really nice fragrant rice there. Cinnamon, clove, and if you're lucky, some cardamom too. I just wished I knew what some of the other SMALLER seeds are in there. They can be fantastic. These rice "inclusions" vary from place to place, so you really never know what you're gonna get. Hopefully it wasn't overwhelming.

    1. I can't remember the last time I had Indian takeout but I've had the spices on the rice served at other Indian restaurants before so I don't find it strange or anything.

      1. Bay leaves are normal (I think they're bay leaves anyway, or something similar?) and I know the smaller seeds you're talking about, Cheese Boy. It does add to the flavor, but I can see how having too many inclusions would ruin it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Solstice444

          Just as a side note: keeping bay leaves in bags of uncooked rice will keep insects/moths away. Nice to know that just leaving it in the rice when cooking adds nice aromatics.

          1. re: Solstice444

            Solstice444 ... I really enjoy a good aromatic rice. These rices of course can vary widely from place to place (especially when considering the SMALL "inclusions"). In my quest to duplicate some of the fine rice sides I've had over the years, I decided to pay a visit to Patel Brothers and study their seed/spice selection a bit. The best and closest I could come up with was something called ajwain seeds. They taste like a cross between black tea and oregano. Not quite the flavor I was looking for, but very good all the same.

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              That does look like the seeds I've seen in basmati rice before. Good find!