The festival of Diwali was celebrated last week with lots of lights, candles, lanterns & variety of meethai (sweets). Non of the Indian festivals are complete without sweets. This time I thought to add one of the favorite traditional Indian dessert to my blog after working out a super easy way to prepare it. Saffron Sweet Rice is long grain rice (preferably Basmati variety) cooked with saffron, whole dry spices, sugar and ghee. All these ingredients gives it beautiful color and irresistibly rich fragrance. It is a perfect dessert for lunch, dinner or any traditional get together.
There are various ways to prepare sweet rice and I find them to be quite cumbersome. I simplified the recipe by using cooked rice with very few cooking steps. It is surprisingly, fast to cook and can be easily prepared with leftover rice.
Serving: For 4 or 6
Cooking time: 15 minutes using cooked rice or 25 minutes with uncooked rice
Cooks in: Pressure cooker or deep flat bottom pan with lid
- Basmati rice or any long grain rice – 1 cup washed and soaked 15 minutes before cooking
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Water – 5 cups
- Saffron – 1/2 teaspoon strands soaked in warm milk
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tablespoons
- Whole spices – Cardamom 2 pieces crushed with skin
- – Bay leaf – 2 leaves
- – Cloves – 2 pieces
- – Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
- Pistachios & almonds – 1 tablespoon finely chopped
Method – if rice is uncooked:
- Pressure cook rice for one whistle with 5 cups of water and one bay leaf. After switching off the burner, Immediately keep the cooker under running tap water to suppress the steam. Once cool, open the lid and drain starchy water from cooked rice using colander
- Keep the cooker back on the medium burner and stir whole spices in ghee. Add rice, sugar and saffron. Stir gently and close the lid. Switch off the burner.
- Saffron sweet rice are ready. Open the lid when ready to serve and transfer it in the microwave safe bowl, if you want to warm it again. Garnish with chopped almond & pistachios.
Method – if using leftover rice:
- Depending on quantity, heat leftover rice in a microwave oven.
- Stir in ghee, soaked saffron, whole spices and sugar. Mix gently and cook again so that the sugar get dissolves and dries up.
- Garnish with almond and pistachios. Rice is ready to be served.
Tips & Tricks:
- Instead of pressure cooker, deep flat bottom pan can be used. Method will remain same
- It takes longer time to cook in a pan than in a pressure cooker
- Ratio of water should be more than the rice; it helps to remove excess starch
- Make sure that the rice is drained completely
- Sticky or starchy rice will ruin the appearance of our sweet dish
- Use any long grain rice
- Preferably Basmati rice since it has long grains and distinctive aroma
- It is important to handle cooked rice gently so that it does not break
- You can also use very little quantity of addible orange color along with saffron
- Do not use over cooked rice
- Adjust sugar according to taste