Turmeric rice with tomatoes, garlic and cardamom. Pic by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Yield: 4 to 6 side servings

Total time: 50 minutes


5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

10 cardamom pods, crushed (keep a few of the pods and all the seeds)

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 lemon, yellow peel shaved into 5 wide strips, and fruit squeezed to get 2 tablespoons juice

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 pint cherry tomatoes

Salt and black pepper

1 2/3 cups basmati rice

2 cups vegetable stock or water

1/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, roughly chopped


In a medium-size deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, combine garlic, cardamom, thyme, 3 tablespoons oil and the lemon peel strips. 

Turn heat to medium-low and gently cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often, until garlic just begins to soften and turn golden.

Add turmeric, tomatoes and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to blister, taking care not to break them apart. 

Add rice, stock (or water) and a generous grind of pepper and gently stir to combine. 

Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover the pan with a clean tea towel and seal with the lid, securing the towel edges well over the lid so they don’t catch fire.

Reduce heat to very low and let cook undisturbed 15 minutes. 

Remove from the heat, leaving the lid on, and let rest 5 minutes. 

Remove lid and towel and use a large fork to gently fluff rice and evenly disperse the tomatoes. 

Gently stir in lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil and parsley. 

Let rest 5 minutes more before serving.