A rich, indulgent pilaf that is worthy of the festive season Serves 4
- 1 cup long grained basmati rice
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp chopped almonds
- 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
- 2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
- 2 tbsp chopped cranberries
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 6 cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups water
- ½ sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
- 1 tbsp milk
- Wash the rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes
- Heat ghee in a pan. Add the chopped nuts and dried fruit. Saute on medium flame until cashews are golden brown and raisins are puffed up. Using a slotted spoon, remove from ghee and keep aside
- In the remaining ghee, add the cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves. Stir for 1 minute or so until the cinnamon unfurls and cloves are puffed up.
- Drain the rice and add to the pan. Toast the rice with the spices on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water and salt. Bring this to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce flame, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 8 minutes or until the rice is nearly cooked.
- Whisk the saffron powder in the milk and tip it into the nearly cooked rice.
- Gently toss the rice in the saffron milk until it gets a uniformly golden hue. Remove the pan from the flame.
- Mix half the fruit-nut mix into the rice.
- Remove this onto a platter. Garnish with the leftover fruit-nut mix.
- Serve with a spicy curry.
Variation: A handful of green peas and finely sliced green beans can be added to make this a vegetable-fruit & nut pilaf.
Indian shortbread cookie that goes perfectly with a cup of masala chai Makes 30 pieces
- 1.5 cups maida
- 2 tbsp besan
- 1 tbsp chiroti rava
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup ghee
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 sachet Kesari Saffron Powder
- For garnish: 10-12 pistachios, Saffron strands
- Sieve the maida, besan, rava, baking soda and keep aside
- In a bowl, mix together the ghee, sugar and saffron powder until well combined.
- To this add the dry ingredients and gently combine until you get a smooth dough.
- Pinch off 30 portions from this dough. Roll each portion between palms to get a smooth ball
- Flatten this ball slightly and place on a baking sheet. Keep some distance2cm between the cookies as they will expand as they bake.
- Preheat oven at 180°C.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the pistachios and press a pinch of chopped nuts over each cookie
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes
- Remove, cool and pack in airtight container. Garnish with a strand of saffron before serving if desired
Variation: Substitute half the maida with wheat flour and use 1-2 tbsp of milk to bind the dough if need be.
A special kheer that gets a mellow flavour from golden pumpkin, almonds and saffron. Serves 6
- cup whole almonds
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 200 grams grated yellow pumpkin
- 2.5 cups whole milk
- 1 sachet Kesari Saffron powder
- ½ cup sugar
- For garnish: 1 tbsp ghee, 8-10 cashewnut halves, 2-3 tbsp raisins, Saffron strands
- Soak the almonds in boiling water for hour. Remove skins and keep aside.
- In a pan, heat ghee and saute the pumpkin for 3-4 minutes. Add ¼ cup water, cover and cook the pumpkin until done. Allow all the water to evaporate.
- Grind the almonds with ½ cup milk and saffron powder to get a smooth puree
- Grind the cooked pumpkin with ¼ cup milk to get a smooth puree.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the almond puree, pumpkin puree, remaining milk and sugar.
- Bring this to a gentle simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat ghee in a small pan. Add cashews and raisins. Once cashews are golden brown, transfer it over the kheer. Garnish with saffron strands.
- Serve chilled or warm
standard banana muffins get a royal upgrade with the addition of saffron. Makes 6-8
- ¾ cup maida / all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
- pinch of salt
- 1 sachet Kesari Saffron powder
- 2 tbsp ghee
- cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup lukewarm milk
- ¾ cup mashed ripe bananas (around 3 medium)
- For garnish: 8 almond halves, 1 tbsp desiccated coconut Kesari Saffron strands (optional)
- Preheat the oven at 175°C. Line a muffin tray with paper liners or use silicone muffin cups.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, desiccated coconut and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk the ghee, sugar and Kesari saffron powder until creamy.
- To this add the milk and mashed bananas and whisk well until combined.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture and gently stir to combine.
- Divide the mixture between 6-8 muffin cups.
- Place an almond half over the top and sprinkle desiccated coconut.
- Transfer the tray to the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Garnish the muffin with a saffron strand.
- Serve warm.
Variation: ¼ tsp of ground cardamo cup of chopped pistachios