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
My husband is the youngest in his family, and he was a really PICKY eater as a kid (I’d blame my older son, Beau’s picky eating habits on him if it wasn’t for my OWN picky eating habits.)
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.
I share my tips and tricks on rice preparation in my Pakistani Home Cooking Guide, which, lucky you, is TOTALLY free when you sign up for my mailing list.
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.
The “dance for me part” had me rolling! lol, Guess what? Tried this one too! I didn’t actually know the term “tehari’ until recently! Didn’t grow up with it really. ButI was pleased to discover it with your recipe! The only different thing I did was increase the red chili flakes because I think in America they’re less spicy. Loved it, as always! Thank you, Becky!!
Probably because you also know what it’s like to command unwilling food to “perform” lol. I’m glad it turned out good for you, Alhamdulillah. The spice factor could definitely be different from place to place, or it could be a difference in tolerance level too (but I think we’re both on the same level of spice love, so most likely a difference in the spice itself). Thanks so much for trying this!
Looks deliicous and I hear you on garnishing woes! Also can I just say I really enjoy your writing style!
JazakAllahukhairan Sarah! Yes, some foods are divas, we just have to deal, lol. I’m glad you like my writing style, let’s hope I come across more sane in writing than I do in person…
Love how you write Masha’Allah.
So I needed to pair my Chicken 65 with a rice dish and I did not want to make a biriyani because chicken 65 has a flavor of its own, and well. I aint slavin away in the kitchen with 3 toddlers running around. So!! I searched and I found you 😀
Now! when you raved of the chilli flakes I’m like.. oh man ya, ok I can handle the heat and my kids can too, normally..
Sis.. my dear sis. That was HOT .. me being white and cooking many dishes with spice and my husband being Pakistani he said that was hot. 1 tsp is holy moley ” BUrn, my mouth HOT!” .and I used the NoName brand here in Canada Chilli flakes lol ..
Overall, I would definitely recommend this dish and cook it again – Minus the chilli flakes, or just use 1/4 tsp
Easy to make and follow.
Keep writing, you caught my attention.
May Allah bless you!!
I made it last night. Everyone loved it! It’s very tasty and aromatic.
I cannot stay away from when I hear the word “spicy”, That’s what got me in. and let me tell you, I am gonna try this probably on this Tuesday. I hope my kids gonna love it.