What? You’ve never heard of basmati rice being served during the Thanksgiving meal? Funny. We have it all the time! As many new immigrants come to the US, it is customary to bring parts of their culture into the new world they are living in. Italians brought us pasta and pizza. The Irish brought their potatoes and beer. The Germans gave us sausage and more beer. The Chinese introduced sticky rice and noodles. Persians have their kabob and of course, basmati rice.
My parents don’t live in California, so every Thanksgiving they are typically guests at their friends’ Thanksgiving meals. My mom is always asked if she could bring some basmati rice. It’s now a Thanksgiving tradition with our all-American friends.
My mom has always prepared rice for our holiday meals. It’s a staple dish that we loved as children. We went from eating plain white rice, to trying all the wonderful variations of pollo (cooked rice): sour cherry, green beans & tomato, lentil, orange peel. All of these rice dishes are usually made as a side dish to a meat dish.
And they match beautifully with a roast turkey or ham.
Most pollo dishes require you to layer the par-boiled rice with the extra ingredients as you prepare it for final steaming.
My uncle is also an amazing cook. He introduced Basmati Rice with Cabbage (Kalam Pollo) to me. It’s a simple dish for you to start with your first pollo. The cabbage requires about 5-8 minutes of sautéing prior to layering with the basmati rice. The crust I chose was onion. Mmmm… the original onion rings.