Monday, September 17, 2012

Saffron Rice

This is the best rice I've ever made in my entire life.

While that may sound a bit dramatic and superlative, it is true.  In this dish, rice is not bland but flavorful and has the perfect texture.  It pairs perfectly with the Chicken and Spinach of a month ago.

This serves 4 - 6.

Saffron Rice
from the Three Sisters Indian Cookbook

8 oz basmati rice
2 c water
2 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick (about 3 1/2 inches)
2 T butter
10 almonds
10 cashews 
1/2 t cumin seeds
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 T plain yogurt
1 t saffron soaked in 2 T hot milk

Gently wash the rice in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear.  In a bowl, soak the rice in the water with the bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick for 30 minutes.  Drain rice and spices, reserving the water.  Set aside.

While the rice soaks, heat 1 t of butter in a small frying pan over medium heat and fry the nuts until golden.  Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel.

Heat the remaining butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds and cook until they begin to sizzle, then add the ginger and a dash of salt and pepper.  Fry for 20 - 30 seconds.  Add the drained rice and spice mixture.  Stir in the yogurt and reserved water and bring to a boil.  Partially cover and simmer for 3- 5 minutes.  Fully cover the saucepan, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 6-8 more minutes.  Remove the rice from the heat.  Spread the nuts over the rice.  Drizzle with the saffron milk and let rest (off of the heat) for 15 minutes before serving.  

To serve, fluff the rice with a fork.

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