Cooking simple everyday pilaf with Simi

| October 9, 2014 | 5 Replies

I am convinced that Simi of turmeric n’ spice is extraordinary! What do I mean? She runs one of those interesting food blogs around and she does it with style, inspiration and so much grace. One peek at her ”creations”, as captured through her lens, and I am certain you will agree. Need more? Go ahead, it’s all right here.


MYCO: Thanks for taking the time to chat with Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.

Simi Jois said, ”Thanks for having me over. I love food and I am obsessed about photography, together they live under one roof – Turmeric N Spice. I was raised in India in a household were cooking was a passion, with recipes that have lived in our household for generations. Even though I grew up in a household with a bustling kitchen, I never showed much interest to cook when I was growing up.

When I moved to the United States and made a home away from home, I missed ‘my’ food. Fell in love with cooking, it’s just not ingredients mixed together, it’s something that binds families and it is probably the only art form that involves all your senses.

The blog has grown from just a culinary adventure to a platform to showcase my creative urges through photography. It has been four great years of blogging. Only in the last year and a half I have devoted time to it, before it was just a documentation of my recipes for future reference.”

MYCO: What do you find most challenging about food blogging?

Clean up ! I love everything about blogging and the only thing I don’t like is the clean up I have to do after I photograph for a blogpost, props, boards and what have you.

MYCO: Do you think that a food blogger is more ”picky” when it comes to dinning out or accepting a friend’s invitation for lunch or dinner? Are your expectations higher from other cookers/chefs?

Not really, art is subjective. You cannot judge art, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

MYCO: If someone approached you and asked..: ”Simi… I will create your dream kitchen within a months time, in exchange for a homemade meal”. How would you like YOUR kitchen to be built/decorated and what would you cook for this person in return?

My kitchen: I would love the state of the art gas stove top, oven and appliances. Clutter free. Place for my photography, and props. Some ambient lighting as I am a die hard romantic at heart.A cute breakfast table for my family that overlooks my mini herb garden. A barn table for sure, some music and definitely no television. The aroma of fresh food lingering and the feeling of warmth as you enter my space.

I would make a platter of assorted street food (Mini samosa, papdi chaat) as starter
Main course: Masala Dosa with sambhar
Dessert: Rabri kulfi : it’s ice cream from milk that has been reduced after it has been slow cooked for hours.

… read more info on her blog ”turmeric n’ spice”


THE RECIPE: Simple everyday pilaf

You need:

  • 1 cup basmati rice Cooking simple every day pilaf with Simi Jois
  • 1 & 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee – clarified butter (recipe here)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 tsp pepper corn, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp cashew, chopped
  • 4 tbsp rasins, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped length wise
  • 2 green chillies, split
  • salt, to taste


Soak the rice for 30-45 min in tepid water. Add ghee to a non stick pot, heat after it melts add cumin let it splatter, now add all the other spices and raisin and cashew nuts and roast. Add the onions, green chilies and salt and roast till transparent and NOT brown, we do not want it to caramelize.

Drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the ghee and roast for a min or two, add water and bring to a boil, now lower the flame to medium-low, add 1 tbsp lemon juice and close the lid.

Keep checking, to see the water has evaporated, every rice is different, even from the same brand, in a different pack it could be different and some rice might need more water, so add a little bit at a time (2 tbsp) if u feel the rice needs water and is burning.

Keep lid closed do not stir, as it will break the extra long grain, when you are ready to serve stir with a very delicate hand. Add ghee before you serve.

Why didn’t we caramelize the onion: If you want pure white rice, and not a mild roasted color, but if u prefer the color a bit brownish, go ahead and caramelize your onions you can add 1 tsp of sugar too, to give a deep caramelized color.

Why lemon?: The acid in lemon is dual purpose, keeps the rice white and also keeps it from sticking, nice and grainy, the way basmati should be.

Cooking simple every day pilaf with Simi Jois

Cooking simple every day pilaf with Simi Jois

Cooking simple every day pilaf with Simi Jois

Cooking simple every day pilaf with Simi Jois
Photography: Simi Jois Photography | Intervew/Blogger: Krystallia Giamouridou

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Category: Blog Love

Comments (5)

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  1. kiveli says:

    The recipe seems interesting but the photos are amazing!!!

  2. What a beautiful post Krystallia.

    • Editor says:

      Thank you Jyothi for your kind words, but all credits must be given to Simi Jois, who has done a fantastic photoshoot. I am very happy to host one of her recipes on the blog.

  3. Simi Jois says:

    Thank you soo much for having me over, I really enjoyed creating this post for you. Am so glad to have you as a friend. You have a great space, honest, clean cooking from the heart. I don’t know how we connected and got so close, but doing this post for you, i think, I found a great friend, one day we will meet for sure.

    You are an amazing person and so open and enthusiastic, I am honored to know you.

    I wish you all the very best, and happiness always.

    Lots of love

  4. My new cooking passions are turmeric and indian food. So thank you both of you for this wonderful recipe!!!

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