Sweet Rice 2, Quick Version
Meethe Chawal 2
Geeta and Abha Gupta
Sweet rice is a popular North Indian dish, where it is one of the first dishes offered to a bride when she enters her husbands home for the first time after the wedding. As most Indians have a sweet tooth. it is also popular as an after dinner dessert. Many of us Indians love to eat plain, boiled rice mixed with sugar and hot ghee, as an after dinner sweet, just to enjoy the sweet rice. This version is an easy one to make, give it a try. Serves 4
Pictures from Mrs. Rukmani Garg's Kitchen
1 cup Basmati rice
4 cups water
1/2 tsp. green cardamom seeds
A few strands of saffron or a pinch of turmeric
3/4 cup sugar (Gur/jaggery or muscovado or dark brown sugar are better than white sugar)
3-4 almonds, shredded lengthways
5-6 pistachios, shredded lengthways (optional)
1 tbsp. raisins, washed if dusty
2 full tsp. ghee or clarified butter
4-5 cloves (optional)
2 tbsp. milk
Wash rice and cook/boil in 4 cups of water, with until 2 grains remain (when rice is crushed between a finger and thumb, 2 grains are felt). Drain in a colander.
Grind cardamom seeds and saffron threads with a tablespoon of the measured sugar. Adding a little sugar helps to grind both finely.
Heat the ghee in a wok or karahi, add cloves if using and then add boiled rice.
Add sugar (picture 2) and then ground cardamoms and saffron mix, raisins and half of the shredded nuts (picture 3). Mix well with a fork.
Cook on very low heat, until all the sugar melts (picture 4).
Continue cooking for 10 minutes or so, until liquid is absorbed (picture 5). Alternatively, transfer to a microwave suitable container and cook on full for 4 minutes. Traditionally, the pan was placed on half dying charcoals at this stage, with a few charcoals placed on top of the lid and left for 30 minutes or so. This process was called 'dum'.
Garnish with remaining nuts and serve hot, though it can be eaten cold (picture 6).
BBQ Rice: Cook rice as above. Make small parcels, one parcel per person, each wrapped in aluminium foil. Place them on BBQ for a few minutes to heat, 5-10 minutes, turning over once. Serve the parcels straight from the BBQ.