Saffron Rice (Kesari Chawal)
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Clarified Butter (see recipe on page 15)
3 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
2 black cardamom seeds, bruised
2 tablespoons golden raisins
¼ cup blanched almonds
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon Roasted Saffron (see recipe on page 16)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
This rice dish can be served alongside any spicy chicken or meat curry.
1. Rinse the rice at least 3 to 4 times with water. Drain and set aside.
2. In a deep pan (with a lid), heat the butter over medium heat. Add the green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and black cardamom seeds. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add the raisins, almonds, and salt. Stir for another minute. Add the rice and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and the saffron; mix well.
4. Add 2 cups of water and cook, uncovered, until the water comes to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat to low. Cook the rice for another 8 to 12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
5. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve hot. Fluff with a fork before serving.
Bruising or Pounding Spices
To bruise whole spices, use a mortar and pestle. You can even add the spices to a plastic bag and pound them lightly with a rolling pin. Lightly bruising a spice is an age-old technique in Indian cooking. It helps to release its aroma and flavor into the dish.