It’s been such a long time since I went into the kitchen. I’ve been completely busy with so many things that have overwhelmed me and taken me away from my happy place: the kitchen.
This is something my mother started making, but I jumped in and took over. This recipe is adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s version of the same. It was such a comforting food to eat on a cozy Sunday afternoon, feet up, curtains closed, with the whole family watching TV bundled together! 🙂
Meethe Chawal Serves 4
You will be needing
– 1 cup Basmati rice
– 3 cups water
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 2 tbsp lukewarm milk
– A pinch of saffron
– Handful of nuts and dry fruits of your choice (Cashewnuts, Almond Slivers, Pistachios, Walnuts, dry raisins, what have you…)
– 1/4 cup thick coconut milk
– about 2-3 tbsp of Ghee (clarified butter)
– Wash the Basmati rice and drain. Set aside.
– Heat the ghee in a large, shallow non-stick pan.
– Fry the cashews or other nuts and dried fruits that you have chosen. Keep in mind that different nuts/dry fruits take different times to turn that gorgeous golden brown. So throwing it all together, will cause half to burn and half remain uncooked. fry the nuts in batches, so you don’t crowd it in the ghee.
– Once all the nuts are fried and they’re golden brown, drain from the ghee and set aside.
– In the same ghee, saute the rice till all traces of water is gone and it looks slightly fried on the outside. Make sure that the color of the rice remains the same. (Don’t let it turn brown)
– In the meantime, soak the saffron strands in lukewarm milk. Set aside for the color to seep through. You can do this ahead of time for more color to seep through. Alternatively, you can also use a pinch of food colour, but saffron imparts a lovely flavour to the dish.
– Add the water to the rice. Cover and cook till done.
– Add the saffron infused milk, coconut milk and sugar. Stir well. Cook covered over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Remove lid. Stir till most of the liquid evaporates.
– Add the fried nuts and dry fruits. Remove from heat while it’s still watery enough to swivel when you tilt the pan. As it cools, the sugar thickens.
– Serve hot or cold. Both ways, it tastes amazing!
Note: Omit the coconut milk and/or milk if you do not like the sticky texture. Instead, dissolve the saffron in the same quantity of lukewarm water.