In a blender, add garlic, ginger, serrano chillies, cilantro, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds, 1 tsp salt, tomato and onions. Blend this mixture together, with no added water. The watery tomatoes yield just enough. Make this into a smooth paste and set aside.
Heat a largewide non-stick pan over medium heat with canola oil and butter. Once the butter has melted add the remaining 1 tsp cumin seeds and asafoetida powder.As I mentioned above, asafoetida is one of those things that not every one may have available. But don’t let not having this one ingredient discourage you from making the dish. It will taste great either way.
When the cumin seeds start spluttering, remove the pan from heat and add the blended mixture. Doing it on heat will make a mess, there is a lot of spluttering. Make sure you reduce the heat to low before returning the pan to heat. Cook over low heat partially covered for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 8 or so minutes. This will remove the raw smell from the onion and spices and give room for all the flavors to meld together. Your kitchen must smell heavenly just about now!
Add the lima beans, the measured water and remaining tsp of salt. Increase the heat to medium high and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes. Add the basmati rice, mix and let it come to a boil.
Just when it comes to a boil, cover and drop the heat to low. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the rice is perfectly done. Remove and gently fold or fluff using a spatula. Do not over mix or the rice will break and become mushy.
Garnish with cilantro and serve this dish hot with a cup of cool raita.