Kesar pilau

Kesar pilau

Saffron and lemon sweet pilau

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alan Benson

The very best way to get a uniform colour and maximum flavour from saffron is to toast the strands in a dry frying pan over low heat for 1–2 minutes, shaking the pan frequently so it doesn’t burn. Remove to a plate to cool and crisp, then they are easy to crush to a powder in a cup with the back of a spoon. Add a tablespoon of hot water to dissolve the powder. If you want the rice evenly coloured, use this method. For a more speckled effect, use the soaking method described in this recipe.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon ghee
6 cardamom pods, bruised
4 whole cloves
1 small stick cinnamon
250g long-grain rice
60ml lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands
2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

  1. Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and cook for 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook for about 4–5 minutes, then add 500 ml hot water, the lemon juice, sugar and salt, stirring well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the saffron strands in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water; leave to soak for 5 minutes. Press the strands between your fingers to extract as much colour as possible. After 10 minutes, sprinkle the saffron water into the pan over the rice. Do not stir. Replace the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes. Uncover, to allow the steam to escape for a few minutes, then remove the whole spices. Use a fork to gently fluff the rice grains before serving.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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