|photo by Rohit Matto on flicker|
CELEBRATING DIWALI WITH SWEETS
Kesari bath, as the name suggests is saffron rice and is a very popular sweet dish in my native place. In olden days it was kind of a royal dish, which only the rich could afford to prepare in some social/cultural function.Well, i could say now it is not so royal as everyone makes it quite often.
I have often come across this dish prepared in restaurants, with semolina, in many places in southern part of india, but yet to come across the rice dish which comes from the western ghats region of karanataka (especially north canara dist.).
For this dish i have used a rice variety which is known as jeera rice. It is an aromatic rice very similar to basmati but relatively short grained.
If you are unable to locate this variety, basmati can be used instead.
Rice -- 1 cup
Sugar -- 2 to 2 1/4 cups (depending on how sweet you like it)
Ghee(clarified butter) -- 1/2 cup
Saffron -- 1/4 gm
Milk -- 2 tablespoons
Salt -- a pinch
Ghee(clarified butter) -- 2 tablespoons
Cashew nuts -- 15-20 (broken)
Raisins -- few
Wash and cook rice with 2cups of water until it is soft. Rice is usually cooked a little softer than the regular rice used for other dishes. It can be pressure cooked also for 18-20 minutes. Make sure there is no water left in the cooked rice.
Soak saffron in a couple of tablespoons of warm milk. Keep it aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan add the rice sugar and ghee and cook it on low flame. Give it a nice stir until all the ingredients are nicely mixed.
Crush the saffron strands in the milk and add it to the rice mixture. Keep stirring until it becomes thick and the ghee starts oozing out of the kesari bath. Turn off the heat.
Take a couple of tablespoons of ghee in a small pan. Add the dry fruits and fry them on low flame until the brown spots appear on the cashew nuts and the raisins become plump and regain their original size.
Add this to the kesari bath as garnish and serve. Can be served at room temperature. Can be stored refrigerated up to 8-10 days.