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Print this Recipe    This is in response to requests I've seen here from time to time. The

following recipes are from _Flavors of India: Recipes from the Vegetarian
Hindu Cuisine_, by Shanta N. Sacharoff, reprinted without permission.
Comments in parentheses are mine, and I've paraphrased some portions. I've
tried these and several other recipes from this book & highly recommend it!

My favorite rice is basmati, for its texture and fragrance, but you can
also use jasmine rice or ordinary long-grain white rice. You may want to
wash and drain the rice. If you use converted rice, increase the amount of
water accordingly.

SAFFRON RICE

1/4 t. saffron threads
3 T. warm milk
1 T. butter
1/2 c. raisens (or currents, or dried cranberries -- my favorite)
1/2 c. cashew pieces or sliced almonds (or pistachio pieces)
1-1/2 c. long-grained white rice
3 c. water
1 T. sugar (or honey)

(Yes, saffron is expensive, but there's really no substitute. But it's used
in small amounts, and it's much cheaper at Indian groceries.) Measure the
saffron threads into a small bowl and crush them with the back of a spoon
(I use a small mortar & pestle). Heat the milk (do not boil) and add to
the bowl, stirrinng to dissolve the saffron. Stir in the sugar, and let
stand while preparing rice.

In a small pot or frying pan, melt the butter and saute the raisens and
nuts over very low heat for 2 min. (I eliminate this step and just add
these things halfway through cooking the rice.) Boil the water, add the
rice and stir with a fork. Cover the pot and cook over low to medium heat
for 12-15 min, until the rice has absorbed much of the water. Add the
saffron, milk and sugar mixture and stir gently with a fork. Add the
butter, raisins, and nuts and stir again. Be careful while stirring not to
break the individual grains or the rice will become mushy. Cover the pot
and cook another 10 min. or so until the liquid has been absorbed and the
rice is completely cooked. (If there is liquid left when the rice is done,
cook for a couple of min. with the lid off.) The color of the rice will be
bright yellow, and the saffron will smell wonderful. Serve immediately, as
it does not taste the same reheated (actually, it still tastes pretty fine
reheated, so don't fret about this).

serves 4-6.

********************************************************************************

PEAS PILAU

2 T. butter or ghee (clarified butter, doesn't burn easily)
1 hot green chili or 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 t. finely chopped ginger
4 cardamon pods
4 whole cloves
1 stick whole cinnamon, broken into several pieces
(ground spices could be substituted for the above)
1 c. white rice
1 c. fresh (or frozen) peas
1/4 t. turmeric powder, optional
2-1/4 c. water
1 t. salt (optional)

Melt the butter in a large pot over a low flame. Add the pepper, onion,
ginger, and whole spices. Heat and stir continually for several min. Add
the rice and continue stirring so the rice gets coated with the butter and
spices. (I like to saute' the rice long enough that most of it turns a dull
white color and even begins to brown a bit.) Add the peas, the water and
the salt and stir. If a yellow color is desired, add the turmeric. Bring
to a boil, then lower the heat again, cover the pot, and simmer about 20
min. until the water has been absorbed and the rice is soft and fluffy. If
you use canned peas, drain them and add them during the last few minutes of
cooking. Serve with the whole spices left in, but warn your guests not to
chomp on them.

(You can add or substitute all manner of vegetables (diced carrots,
cauliflower, red & yellow bell peppers, etc.) and nuts (pine nuts, pieces
of cashews or almonds or pistachios) to this dish... be imaginative!)

serves 4.

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