Kesar Chaval (Saffron Rice)
To serve 6 to 8
- 2 cups imported basumati rice or other uncooked long-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons plus 4 cups boiling water
- 6 tablespoons ghee (opposite)
- A 2-inch piece stick cinnamon
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon crumbled imported jaggery, or substitute dark-brown sugar combined with dark molasses
- 2 teaspoons salt
- The seeds of 3 cardamom pods or ¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
Pour the rice into a sieve or colander set in a large pot of cold water, and rub the grains lightly between your fingers to remove all surface starch. Changing the water 4 or 5 times, wash the rice until the water remains absolutely clear. Drain the rice thoroughly. Place the saffron in a small bowl, pour 3 tablespoon of the boiling water, and soak them for 10 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, in a heavy 3- to 4-quart casserole with a tightly fitting lid, heat the ghee over moderate heat until a drop of water flicked into it splutters instantly. Add the cinnamon and cloves and, when they are coated with ghee, add the onions. Lifting and turning the ingredients constantly, fry them for 7 or 8 minutes, or until the onions are soft and golden brown. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly. Add the rice and stir for about 5 minutes, until all of the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the grains are a delicate golden color. Again stirring constantly, add the remaining 4 cups of boiling water, the jaggery (or brown sugar and molasses), salt and cardamom seeds, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the saffron and its soaking water, stir gently, then reduce the heat to the lowest possible point. Cover tightly and cook for 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve at once, mounted on a heated platter or in a large bowl.
by : inforesep