Kesar Rice

Ingredients:

1 cup long grain Indian Basmati Rice
1/4 tsp Saffron Strands
1 Bay Leaf
2 – 2 inch Cinnamon Sticks
4 Green Cardamoms
15-20 pieces of Paneer (Cottage Cheese) cubes (about 1cm x 1 cm each)
1/3 cup Raisins
10 Cashew Nuts
A little Hot Milk
2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter), for frying
Salt to taste

Method:

Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain thoroughly.
Soak saffron in a little hot milk for about 15 minutes, till milk is a deep orange-yellow colour. You may vary the quantity of saffron, depending upon it’s quality. If the quality is not very good, you may need a little more saffron to achieve this colour and vice versa.
Heat oil in a wok. Fry the cashewnuts till golden. Drain and set aside. Next, fry the paneer cubes, till light golden, drain and set aside.
In a pan, heat ghee or clarified butter. Add the bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon.
Add the rice. Add salt. Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and rice looks glossy.
Add warm water. Bring to a boil. Add the raisins. Stir once.
Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over.
When holes appear on the surface and water has almost evaporated, lightly fork in the paneer cubes. Sprinkle the saffron liquid on top.
When water has completely evaporated, fork the rice out onto a serving serving dish. This will separate each grain out. This rice will have a beautiful mix of white and yellow and half coloured grains.
Garnish with fried cashewnuts. Serve hot with any creamy curry.

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