You will feel like royalty when eating this elegant, yet very easy rice dish made with saffron, dried fruit, and nuts. A small amount of saffron gives an exotic aroma and flavor and a beautiful natural yellow tint to the rice. Cashews, almonds, and golden raisins made from dried white (pale green) grapes add rich flavor and texture to this rice dish. You can also use other nuts, like walnuts and pistachios.
Serves 3 to 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes + 5 minutes to rest
Refrigerator life: 3 days
Freezer life: 1 month
Reheating method: Place the refrigerated or defrosted rice in a microwave, sprinkle a few drops of water on it and stir periodically. Or, place the rice in a saucepan, sprinkle a few drops of water on it and warm over medium-low heat, stirring periodically.
1 cup (180 g) uncooked white Basmati rice 4 tablespoons vegetable oil ½ cup (80 g) golden raisins ¼ cup (30 g) blanched and slivered almonds ½ cup (60 g) cashews, split in half lengthwise 2 cups (500 ml) water ½ teaspoon saffron threads ½ heaping teaspoon salt
1. Place the rice in a small bowl. Rinse three or four times by repeatedly filling the bowl with cold water and carefully draining off the water. It is okay if the water is not completely clear, but try to get it as clear as you can. Pour the rice into a large sieve to drain.
2. Pour the oil into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add the raisins, almonds, and cashews. Sauté until the cashews are very light golden , stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the rice. Stir thoroughly until all of the rice is coated with the oil.
4. Add the water, saffron and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
5. Stir and reduce the heat to low. The water will have a faint yellow tinge from the saffron. Cover the saucepan. Simmer undisturbed until the water is completely absorbed and you do not see any more water on the bottom of the saucepan if you insert a spoon through the rice, about 8 minutes. You might see dimples formed on the surface of the rice, which is a sign that the water is completely absorbed. The rice will have a faint yellow color to it.
6. Turn off the heat. Let rest, covered, for 5 minutes on the warm stove. Keep covered until ready to serve or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze for later. Before serving, gently fluff the rice with a fork to mix the dried fruit and nuts. Enjoy!
Recipe and photo from "Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Easy Recipes for the Hurry Home Cook" by Shubhra Ramineni. Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing. www.enticewithspice.com
Copyright 2011-2016 Shubhra Ramineni. All rights reserved.