(Basmati Rice with Saffron and Rose Petals)
1 cup Uncooked basmati or long-grain rice
2 Tbls Ghee* or vegetable oil
2 ea Black, green or white cardamom pods
¼ tsp Saffron threads
1 ¼ cups Cold water
¼ cup Heavy cream or half-and-half
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
25 to 30 rose petals**
In a small bowl, cover the rice with water. With your fingers, gently swish the grains until the water becomes cloudy; drain. Repeat 3 to 4 times until the water appears almost clear. Cover with cold water and soak for 20 to 30 minutes; drain.
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice, cardamom and saffron. Gently stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes to coat the rice with ghee.
Add the remaining ingredients except the rose petals and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring once or twice, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until almost all the water has evaporated. Lower the heat as far as possible, sprinkle rose petals on top (reserving about 5 petals for garnish), and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn off the burner and let the pan sit for 8 to 10 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork or spoon to release the steam. Sprinkle with the remaining rose petals.
*Ghee is clarified butter and may be frozen indefinitely.
**Use petals that have not been sprayed with pesticides; any combination will do.
Recipe from The Turmeric Trail by Raghavan Lyer, CCP, St Martin Press 2002
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