Monday, November 2, 2009

Saffron-Laced Basmati Rice

Rice, originally uploaded by Kim De.

Please excuse the small bowl with the small amount of rice - that is all that was left! I had to hide this much so I could take a picture.

Bo made Indian food, I wanted to contribute. I figured I could at least make the rice. I found this recipe in 660 Curries and it looked easy and tasty.

I started by rinsing the rice several times until it was clear, then soaking it for a few minutes. I heated gee in the saucepan and added the drained rice and a teaspoon of saffron. Dont worry if you dont have gee, butter will also work. I let it toast for a few minutes, being careful not to let it burn. Two cups of water were added and I quickly scraped the bottom of the pan before pouring the mixture into the waiting rice cooker. Again dont worry if you dont have a rice cooker. The recipe didnt call for one, that was my own special touch!

This was a mild rice, good to have with the strong flavors that made up the bulk of our lunch.

Saffron-Laced Basmati Rice (Adapted from 660 Curries)

• 1 cup Indian or Pakistani white basmati rice
• 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
• 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
• 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt

Place the rice in a medium bowl. Fill the bowl halfway with water, to cover the rice. Gently rub the slender grains through your fingers, without breaking them, to wash off any dust or light foreign objects, which will float to the surface. The water will become cloudy. Drain this water. Repeat three or four times, until the water remains relatively clear; drain. Then, pour cold water into the bowl to half-full and let it sit at room temperature until the grains soften, 20 to 30 minutes; drain.

Heat the ghee/butter, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the drained rice and the saffron, stir gently, being careful not to break the delicate rice grains as you coat them with the spice, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in 1 1/2 cups water and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any stuck-on rice kernels. Stir in the sugar and salt. Cook, still over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the water has evaporated from the surface and craters are starting to appear in the rice, 5 to 8 minutes. Then, stir once to bring the partially cooked layer from the bottom of the pan to the surface. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pan stand on that burner, undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.

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