Sesame Mint Rice, Bengali Style

The difference is in how you cook it. This started out as plain old white rice - see how more interesting it looks, as fried rice? Learn tasty it is!

An online friend gave me a link to a video from a Bangladeshi cooking show (no longer available), where they demonstrate how to cook Basmati rice.

Well, I speak not a word of Bengali, nor do I have any Basmati rice - but the technique used, in cooking the rice, intrigued me.
I've eaten lots of Chinese fried rice (wok cooked), this was the first time I tried frying it myself (in a deep pot, no less). Here, we have all 5 identified healthy spices.

>> See it done!

  • 2 C white rice.
  • 4 C water (3 1/2 C for the rice, 1/2 C for the vegs).
  • 1 t bouillon (opt).
  • 2 or 3 pods cardamom.
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper.
  • 1 stick cinnamon, broken up or 1/2 t cinnamon.
  • 4 (1/2 t) cloves.
  • 1/4 t coriander powder.
  • 1/2 t curry powder.
  • 1/2 t garam masala.
  • 1 t ginger.
  • 1 T mint.
  • 1 T sesame seed.
  • 1/4 t tumeric.
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced / 1 1/2 T minced garlic.
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (opt).
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped. Or 1/8 C dried, minced onion, with 1/8 C water added.
  • 1/2 C yogurt - unflavoured, unsweetened. Or 1/2 C peanut butter, with 1/4 C extra water.

Preparation (Or See it done!)
  1. For easiest cooking, get all of the ingredients ready for the pot, before heating it up. It seems like extra work - but the end result is worth it!
  2. You want the rice clean and very dry. Only rinse the rice, if specifically instructed on the rice paskage. If you rinse it, let it drain until completely dry.
  3. The cinnamon stick is the fun ingredient. It provides little flavour bursts, with the cinnamon stick slivered, then chopped into little 1/8 square fragments. If the cinnamon stick is tough and hard to chop (cinnamon stick is just tree bark), soften it in the microwave for a minute with a teaspoon of water in a saucer.
  4. Heat up a dutch oven, and add cooking oil to cover the bottom. Turn heat down to 50%.
  5. Saute the rice. Add white rice - and stir frequently, until it becomes a light yellow / tan.
  6. Add ingredients to the rice, in proper order. For each ingredient, one by one:
    • Stir the rice, making a hole in the rice, to expose the bottom of the pot.
    • Add the ingredient into the hole, stirring constantly, until the air fills with the aroma.
    • Mix the ingredient into the rice, stir again, and continue with next ingredient.
  7. The ingredients, in proper order:
    • Garlic. Stir until aromatic.
    • Onion. Stir until soft and transparent.
    • Mint / Sesame. Stir until aroma is enjoyed.
    • Cardamom / Cinnamon. Stir until aroma fills the air.
    • Other herbs / spices. Stir briefly, until spices are warm. Do not inhale the spices vapour - as cayenne pepper is caustic.
      • bouillon.
      • cayenne.
      • cloves.
      • coriander.
      • curry.
      • garam masala.
      • ginger.
      • dried onion (if not using fresh onion).
      • tumeric.
  8. Add water, bring to Boil (100%), stirring occasionally.
  9. Add yogurt or peanut butter, and stir.
  10. Reduce heat to Simmer (25%), cover - and cook until all visible water is gone, stirring regularly.
  11. When visible water is gone, and you cannot hear boiling, stir once more, turn stove off, stir again, cover, and let it sit. Have faith - do not remove the lid to check. Let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes, then uncover.
  12. When rice is soft, you're done.
  13. Garnish / mix with chopped celery / cucumber / green onion / tomato.
You get flaky, soft rice, with a nutty flavour, and a hint of cinnamon, ginger, and mint. It's not Basmati rice - that's a registered trademark - but it's not sticky like my previous Sesame Mint Rice.

In truth, the only things common between my recipe and the one in the video is "rice", onion, and probably tumeric (maybe cinnamon?). It was still educational, learning how to fry rice.

Sesame Mint Rice, topped with Cuban Style Black Beans.

See it Done!

Heat up a pot until water drops sizzle, and add oil.

Add rice, turn heat down to 50%. Stir rice, frequently, as it toasts. Toasted rice has a wonderful yeasty aroma.

As it toasts, rice will get gradually browner.
See the beautiful golden tan? Stir constantly. This is how the yeasty flakiness starts.

Saute rice and garlic briefly, and make a hole to saute the onion.
See how the rice is becoming a beautiful golden brown?

Add onion, and saute until it's soft. Then mix that into the rice.
The rice is becoming a rich, chocolate brown.

Mix the onion into the rice, and make a hole. Add the mint and sesame seed, saute until the aroma fills the air.

Make a hole for the cardamom and cinnamon, and saute that briefly. A new aroma wafts to your nose.
See how dark the rice gets - contrasting with the green mint and white onion and sesame seed?

Add the herbs / spices, let them warm briefly, and mix with the rice.

Note that in contrast with the inspiring aromas of cinnamon, garlic, and mint, the spices will have a harsh aroma.

Inhaling the vapour, as the cayenne pepper toasts, is not recommended.

Add the water and bring it to a boil (100%), add peanut butter or yogurt, mix well.

Peanut butter.


Simmer lightly (25%), covered, until no water is visible. Stir, turn off heat, cover, let it sit until it's cool enough to not burn your mouth.

You get flaky, soft rice with a yeasty undertone - and hints of cinnamon, garlic, mint. and onion.

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