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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.