Drop everything and make this tehari right now. I’m not even joking.
This fine-tuned tehari (spiced rice and potatoes) recipe consists of the perfect blend of spices for a fragrant and delicious rice experience. I honestly believe you’re going to love it.
The finished recipe was tested no less than four times, because it is one of the MOST requested dishes in my home.
Seriously, you guys. Try it. Now.
The Most Requested Dish
So if what was cooked at the dinner table wasn’t up to his six-year-old standards, he would refuse to eat it and his mother (may Allah have mercy on her) would have to make him Aloo walay chawal (potatoes and rice). So in addition to cooking three different meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, she’d have to cook potatoes and rice as well.
As a mom that’s had to do this for my own picky eater, I can totally commiserate.
My husband was a brat.
An adorable brat, though.
You’d think he’d actually be a brat now, but in actuality, he grew up to be one of the most selfless people I know. He’s actually the one that reminds me not to eat all of the chocolate because we should leave some for the kids.
The kids. Right. I forgot about them. Chocolate tends to have that affect on me.
Anyway, back to the rice and potatoes. You would presume that having eaten so much rice and potatoes as a kid that he’d be sick of it by now, right?
Tehari happens to be one of my husband’s favorite dishes, and a regular feature on our dinner table. That’s how I was able to test the finished recipe so many times before I got a chance to post it!
You’ll be happy to know that my husband wholeheartedly approves of this Tehari recipe. This particular blend of spices was the perfect amount of spicy and salty for him.
He is the authority on this because he completely inhaled this dish as well as all of the previous ones I tested.
We take Quality Control very seriously here at Chez Becky.
Some Tips on Tehari Preparation
I STRONGLY suggest you add the 1 tsp crushed red chilli. Inshallah, you won’t burn your mouth off, I’d say I promise you won’t, but some people have super sensitive tongues and I really, really don’t wanna get sued. But please do try it once with the crushed red chilli, it gives the rice enough of a kick to make it interesting, but not “OMG! WATER NOW, FIRE IN MY MOUTH!” hot, you know?
I cook this rice covered, on medium heat. This ensures that the flavor infuses the rice and doesn’t evaporate into the air, which will do you no good. Unless you eat air. Hey, no judgement.
I also do not stir the rice while it’s cooking – that breaks up the individual grains and ruins presentation. If you want to give it a mix to make sure everything is distributed evenly, grasp both ends of the pot and turn the pot clockwise quickly and firmly. This will get the mixture sloshing around enough to mix it up.
Think of it like washing machine action for your rice.
If you’re really paranoid, you can do it again, but not too much because again, you don’t want to break the rice.
Annnnnnd Tehari is served. Serve with a side of salad, yogurt and/or mint chutney (there’s a quick recipe for one in the notes of my Pakistani Pakora recipe.)
Behind the Scenes
A side note, shooting this rice was a pain in the tush. I’d planned to cook and shoot the rice, only to completely forget purchasing any garnish or side items. My husband was working from home that day and
wouldn’t couldn’t go out to get them for me (I know, right? Pffft. The things I put up with.) So, I had to improvise with what I had at home.
Styling rice is not as easy as it looks, people. I felt like I was commanding the tehari to “Dance for me! Dance!” In a thick Russian accent, and the rice was looking at me blankly like, “Yeah, whatever, Lady.”
Ah, well. It tastes friggin’ awesome though.
Go make this, now!
Tehari (Spiced Rice and Potatoes)
- 4 cups rice (washed and soaked for 1/2 hour)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 10 black peppercorns
- 6 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp cumin
- 150 g onions (~1 medium and 1 small)
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 350 g potatoes (~3 medium) peeled and cubed
- 150 g tomato (~2 medium) chopped (chop finely if you don't like tomato bits showing up)
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes (optional, but HIGHLY recommended)
- boiling water (as needed to cook rice)
- 4 1/2 tsp salt
Make sure your rice is washed and soaked before you begin.
Heat oil. Add cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and star anise. Let this season the oil for about 15-20 seconds.
Add cumin. When it changes color and starts to sizzle/crackle, add the onions.
When the onions are light brown, add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry until raw smell goes away and onions are golden brown.
Add red chilli powder and turmeric powder, fry until the pungent scent of the turmeric goes away.
Add in potatoes and fry for one minute.
Add tomatoes and fry until tomatoes break down and oil separates.
Add 1 tsp red chilli flakes (optional, but highly recommended) and stir to incorporate into mixture.
Add about 1/4 cup of the boiling water and stir with your spoon a few times so that the onions start to color the water. This helps to draw out the color and flavor from the onions (and the rest of your masala) and infuse it properly into the rice. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP.
Add in the rest of the water, cover and bring mixture to a boil.
Add the rice and salt, mix gently to combine.
Cover and cook on medium-low heat. Adjust heat as necessary midway through cooking.
When the water is dry and the rice is almost fully cooked, put the rice on "dum" - decrease flame to a low simmer. Wrap the lid of the pot in a damp cloth and place a weight on top of the lid to weight it down. Cook for 10 minutes.
Taste the rice, if it is not fully cooked, leave on "dum" a while longer.
If rice is fully cooked, remove from heat. Remove the cloth and replace the lid. Grasping the pot by its handles, vigorously shake the pot so that everything is evenly distributed.
Serve with yogurt and/or mint chutney.
1 - To save time, soak the rice while you prep the ingredients. By the time you need to put it in, it will have soaked for about 30 minutes.