I know, this makes it two rice recipes back-to-back. But it’s one of those things–those modes one tends to fly into. You know, like when you return from a holiday in Kerala and make coconut-based curries for a week. And if you’ve been reading for a bit, you’ll know I’ve written about the masale bhaat before. But then, that was in the dark ages of the point and shoot camera. This time, I’ve got you a step-by-step recipe for my favorite Masale Bhaat shot on video. Like most of my recipes, this one is also made from pantry staples, and can be cooked up in no time, just before those last-minute guests come over for a comforting meal. It makes for an excellent main for a festive occasion. Serve with poppadoms and yogurt.

Masale Bhaat


  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 cup rice 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 long green chili, chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece, finely chopped
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. jaggery or sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kala/goda masala
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Freshly grated coconut, for garnish


  1. Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot. 
  2. Temper with mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Add the asafetida and turmeric.
  3. Throw in the green chili, ginger, and curry leaves. 
  4. Tip in the cashews, peas, and raisins. Saute until fragrant and until the cashews turn a light gold.
  5. Wash, drain, and add the rice. Season with salt and add the masala. Saute for a few minutes, until the rice is well-coated and each grain separates and looks opaque.
  6. Add the water, jaggery, and lime juice, and cover and cook for about 10 minutes on a medium flame, until all the water is absorbed and the rice looks cooked. Sprinkle more water if you’re using a very aged variety of rice.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and coconut. 
  8. Serve hot.