Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, by weight. Be it sweet or savory, saffron always adds that special touch to any dish. In the east, saffron is widely used in cooking, as a flavoring or a coloring agent, and sometimes, both. Read my article on saffron to learn more about this exotic spice.
This Sweet Saffron Rice is one of my favorite dishes to make with saffron. I serve it to gods on a auspicious occasions and sometimes, even with grilled vegetables or meat.
1 cup white basmati rice
2 Tablespoons ghee
3 cardamom, muddled
1/4 cup cashew nuts, broken
1/4 cup golden raisins (or black raisins)
2 cups hot water
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
Using a colander, rinse rice under cold running water for one minute. Set aside.
In a small saute pan, bring 2 cups water to a boil.
Over medium heat, melt ghee in a wide fry-pan. Add cloves and cook for one minute.
Add cashews and raisins, and saute for 2 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
Add soaked rice, and saute for 3-4 minutes, making sure each rice grain is coated with ghee.
Carefully add boiling water, and stir.
Reduce heat to simmer, and cover with a lid. Pour 1/2 cup water over the lid so that when rice is cooking, it will not boil over.
After about 11 minutes, sprinkle sugar and gently mix. Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Rice is ready to be served. Enjoy!