March 11, 2012

Vegetarian Thai Basil Rice

I am a great fan of flavors. And when I discover something that is new to me I desperately want it to try on my own. I know this does not happen all the time but the desire is always there ;). But this time I could make it happen. I prepared this dish in a week just later after I tried it.

Have you ever wondered using basil in cooking? At least I never thought of it until in the last week when I ordered this aromatic dish, Thai Basil Rice. Basil is one of the key ingredients and a must present ingredient in the Thai kitchens.

I simply love Thai cooking, the flavours and the ease with which it is prepared. Its quick , required handful ingredients and no extra or tiring preparation, yet tastes so good. As many of you know all the dishes in Thai cuisine use lots of vegetables. This makes it healthy. To add to this we have Tofu (which is a protein power pack).

When I started eating this dish I decided that I am definitely going to try this. It had so less ingredients and just the aroma of basil. I knew this is simple to cook. I searched (Binged/Googled whatever :)) and found out the key of this rice. First, it required the Jasmine Rice, which is abundantly used in Thai cooking. And this sure makes a difference as this rice had a different texture and had  a property to stick together but was not sticky. And of course the Basil leaves. In India we worship the basil tree but never used it in cooking. Often it is used in homemade medicines but never in cooking (at least to my knowledge, (I may be wrong)). Thai basil leaves are bigger than the Indian Basil. You can get these in any Asian store both rice and leaves.

Non vegetarian eaters can enjoy this rice with chicken and fish oil. Here is the vegetarian version :). And I am so happy with the outcome of my recipe.



Jasmine Rice - 1,1/2 Cup
Fresh Basil Leaves - 20-25 (if they are full size) or three bunches
Tofu Cubes - 500 gms
Capsicum - 1 Cup, Julienned
Onion - 1 Cup, Julienned
Garlic - 4-5 cloves, minced
Green Chillies - 2, chopped finely
Salt - per taste
Soy Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Cucumber for garnishing

The original recipe calls for using fish sauce but being a vegetarian I had to find something else. I searched a lot on Internet and found there are some vegetarian replacements available for the fish sauce. I remembered the taste of the rice and I decided to try out tamarind water :) And you know what, it worked very well .

Tamarind Juice - 1-2 tbsp


1. Rinse the rice before cooking. To cook Jasmine Rice add 2 Cup water to the rice. Add little salt. Bring it to boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover it with a lid and cook for another 15-20 minutes or till the rice is entirely cooked. Then turn off the heat and keep it covered for another 10 minutes. Keep it to cool.

2. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry tofu till it turns a little brown. We need to do this so that the tofu cubes remain intact. Once done keep them aside.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and saute a little. Then add onion for 1 minute and add capsicum. saute for another 3-4 minutes. Keep burner on high flame. Make sure the veggies are not overcooked.

4. Gently add tofu and basil leaves and stir.

5. Add Soy sauce, tamarind water and salt per as per taste.

6. Now add the jasmine rice and stir evenly.

7. Cover for 2-3 minutes. Garnish it with cucumber and serve.


  • @Veggie lovers - Make this more healthy by adding broccoli, carrots, snap peas..whatever veggie you like. :)
  • @Perfectionists - In the first attempt you will not get a perfect idea for the number of basil leaves to be used, which is OK. :) . Enjoy !!!!!!!!
  • @Non-vegetarians - use fish sauce and chicken.


  1. I love using basil especially in some tomato-based dishes and pasta :) But since basil is much more expensive here than cilantro , I tend to use cilantro more . Anyway , your dish looks really tempting ! It makes me drool hahaha Lovely photos , too !

  2. look so delicious.Want to try it soon...Thanks for sharing with Hot & Spicy treats...

  3. Sounds delightful and flavourful rice...Nice clicks

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. Sounds great. Should try with rice...

  5. Definitely a treat for the tongue!! Superb clicks!

    Chef Al dente On going event: Gimme GREEN!

  6. Very flavorful recipe and wonderful clicks

  7. Super presentation n clicks....

  8. Flavourful rice...looks yumm. Nice clicks.

  9. I have never found Thai basil in India till now, or may be i did not look hard enough. Your rice looks and sounds so delicious, you are right about flavourful!

  10. wow..awesome recipe


  11. rice looks yumm...same with me even i have not found basil in chennai, india yet...

  12. Amazing Clicks and it definitely tastes delicious

  13. Thats an interesting recipe.

  14. very yummy and healthy rice ..good for cold and cough too... visit my blog

  15. First Time here.Glad to follow your blog.
    Basil rice looks yum

  16. nice blog .. first time here.. happy to follow you.. do check

  17. Finger licking...

  18. very delicious recipes.
    Do visit my new blog

  19. You have a wonderful space. First time here. Glad to follow you. Do visit my space in your free time

  20. I love Thai Cuisine and this is awesome..:) Thai basil leaves have a wonderful aroma ,isn't it!!

    Bookmarked it ..:)

    Thanks for sharing and glad to follow you ..:))

    Happy blogging..


  21. big fan of basil! love ur blog....:)

  22. big fan of basil! love ur blog....:)

  23. Hi...first time on your blog here..nice recipes..checked a few..will frequebt this place often

    And will definitely try out Thai basil rice! :)

    Do visit my new blog:

  24. Awesome presentation and superb clicks..Ur thai Basil rice looks delicious and so very inviting.

  25. great plate, love the pics of it. looks delicious.


  26. Heaven in a few simple bites

  27. Hiya!!! First time here!!! Great space and lovely clicks?!!

  28. How you doing Sayali?
    How's work going?

  29. Mouthwatering here, what a terrific and super tempting....

  30. cooking with Basil is something I try and do a great deal as I love the flavour!

    I grow my own basil and as soon as the plants are big enough I am going to try this recipe, I am also vegetarian and it sounds very interesting, something a little bit different,
    thank you!

  31. Delicious rice ! looks yummz :) Nice clicks

  32. Happy to be your follower ... great treat for my sight... Simply drop your visit on our space....

  33. This rice dish looks amazing, inviting you to send it to flavours of thsiland event.

  34. nice day :)
    hargailah hari kemaren,
    mimpikanlah hari esok,
    tetapi hiduplah untuk hari ini.
    bagi-bagi motivasinya yaah...

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Thanks for stopping by 'Treat your Tongue'
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