Banana Leaf Rice

I first had this at a friend’s house and loved it. The entire house smelled great and we really couldn’t stop eating the rice. Gorgeous spicy rice steamed in a banana leaf – it was flavorful and delicious!


Banana Leaf Rice

For the rice:
2 cups Basmati Rice
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified Butter (I used regular vegetable oil)
Salt, to taste

For the curry:
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
2 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified Butter (I used regular vegetable oil)

Grind to a paste:
1 medium Onion, chopped fine
2 tbsp Coconut
6 Red Chillies
2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 pieces Cardamom
1/2″ piece Ginger
3 cloves Garlic

For the rice: Parboil the rice and set aside. In a saucepan, heat the ghee and add cumin and fry till it turns a light brown. Add the cooked rice and some salt and mix to combine.

For the curry: Heat the ghee and fry the ground paste for 3-4 minutes or until the raw smell disappears. Add the tomato puree and salt and cook for a minute.

Cut the banana leaves or pieces of aluminum foil into medium sized squares. In each square, spread one portion of rice and top it with a few tablespoons of the curry. Fold the individual packets (fasten the banana leaves with toothpicks).

Steam the banana leaves for atleast 15 minutes. If using foil, bake in an oven at 450 deg F for 25 minutes.

Remove and serve individual packets to each guest, and let them unwrap the packets themselves – that way the rice stays hot and the aroma from the packets isn’t lost.

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41 Comments Add yours

  1. arundati says:

    oh wow!! this looks so delicious….the flavour of the banana leaves mingling with the rice and curry…..

    Like

  2. Pearlsofeast says:

    wow this sounds awesome and the aroma of banana leaf infused in the rice must be delectable.

    Like

  3. natalia says:

    Ciao ! I would like to eat it from the computer !! Is it too bad with the foil ? I’ll try it even so !

    Like

  4. Sunshinemom says:

    This one is new to me. What a unique and great way to serve! Thanks for the idea and the recipe!

    Like

  5. DEESHA says:

    wow that sounds nice. eating on banana leaf does really enhance the flavor of food, steaming rice with the banana leaf must have done wonders

    Like

  6. Curry Leaf says:

    Lovely,the flavour of leaf is infused into the rice.Delish and healthy

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  7. Madhu says:

    this is such a treat, steaming rice in a bananna leaf…. awesome!

    Like

  8. Uma says:

    what a nice idea to steam rice in banana leaf. Looks and sounds awesome.

    Like

  9. Uma says:

    what a nice idea to steam rice in banana leaf. Looks and sounds awesome.

    Like

  10. Rajani says:

    wow i am sure it must be yummy! but i doubt making the same with aluminiumfoilwill be as good- there’s something about banana leaf!! but seriously looksgood.

    Like

  11. Srivalli says:

    Thats such a neat idea anu..I am sure it tasted great!

    Like

  12. Priya says:

    Can guess how tasty this banana leaf rice…great one!!!

    Like

  13. wow wow wow mouthwatering will try this soon can not waite

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  14. Arundathi says:

    <>Thanks everyone. Yes the banana leaf definitely lends a lovely flavor to the rice. Natalia/ Rajani – I used to make it with foil all the time when I lived in the US and it still tastes great. <>

    Like

  15. Happy cook says:

    I have neve rhad tgis, but i can really imagine the aroma and the taste. Just the thought make me to grap that and eat.

    Like

  16. Bharti says:

    That looks fan-tas-tic!

    Like

  17. Aparna says:

    I have had many different food steamed in banana leaves, but this is new to me. It almost seems like a steamed biriyani without the veggies.:)

    Like

  18. farida says:

    I’ve seen fish wrapped in banana leaves, but never rice. This is unique! Looks great!

    Like

  19. Anonymous says:

    How do youparboil the rice?ThanksPadma

    Like

  20. Soma says:

    Wow this is something completely new to me. I am familiar with the flavor banana leaf imparts to rice. back home when we were served food on banana leaves, the serving of super hot rice on the leaf where the leaf would darken instantly would release that flavor I loved so much! what a great idea. now i cannot wait till summer till my little banana tree grows.

    Like

  21. Sharmi says:

    never heard of this recipe. looks very authentic and nice.

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  22. Uj says:

    wow.. this is new to me… It must have acquired a delicious aroma 🙂

    Like

  23. Arundathi says:

    <>Thanks all!Padma, to parboil rice, you cook it till just al-dente or slightly undercooked. Since we are steaming it in in the banana leaf, you don’t want to cook it too much beforehand. Hope that helps.<>

    Like

  24. Madhuram says:

    I know about ilai adai which is used to make pradhamn but not rice. Nice one.

    Like

  25. Chandani says:

    such a unique way of serving rice..looks just great:)

    Like

  26. Mallika says:

    what a fab idea! I bet it tasted amazing. What did she serve it with?

    Like

  27. Usha says:

    Wow, fantastic idea, I am sure the banana leaf really added an awesome flavor to the rice…

    Like

  28. This is like an Indian Tamale!! Very innovative.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Arundhathi.Padma

    Like

  30. Jude says:

    So interested in that flavoring paste. I love rice cooked in banana leaves… Adds a subtle taste.

    Like

  31. PurpleFoodie says:

    Hmm you’ve been MIA for a bit. Keep chekcing in every few days. Hope all’s well! 🙂

    Like

  32. Syrie says:

    When I first looked at the picture I thought this was a Thai dessert of sticky rice with duck egg custard on top. It looks ands sounds so intriguing. I’ve got all the ingredients so I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the recipe. Have a happy new year! Syrie

    Like

  33. Jeena says:

    Tasty rice! I love it wrapped in a banana leaf. 🙂

    Like

  34. Cynthia says:

    I’ve bookmarked this. Definitely got to give it a try.

    Like

  35. Sunshinemom says:

    Happy New Year, Anu:)

    Like

  36. Sig says:

    Dear Arundathi, wish you and family a fantastic new year filled with love and joy!

    Like

  37. Bharti says:

    A very Happy New Year to you and the family dear Arundathi.

    Like

  38. Arundathi says:

    <> Thanks everyone – it definitely is a lovely delicately flavored rice. Mallika – she served it with chicken curry. I got to eat it by itself which was great! 🙂PurpleFoodie – Yup, was a bit caught up in the craziness of Dec – hope to be back now. Thanks for asking!Syrie – happy new year. I hope you enjoyed the rice. Sunshinemom – happy new year 🙂Sig – thank you, dear Sig. Happy new year!Bharti – And to you and yours too! thanks!<>

    Like

  39. Wow…looks delicious.Yummy!

    Like

  40. Arundathi says:

    <> thanks nithya <>

    Like

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