This has been on my mind ever since I saw the movie 'Cheeni Kum', where a proud Amitabh claims that he makes the Best and most Authentic Indian Food in the UK.. until Tabu returns the Zafrani Pulao and pops his pride!
Bits and pieces of the recipe remained in my memory(I liked the movie a lot, and in enjoying the movie, I quite forgot to jot down the recipe!!) So I hunted around the net and found a recipe which was similar .. not the exact, so tweaking it a bit to suit my requirements I attempted this aromatic rice preparation . The end result was a wonderful and delicately coloured and flavoured rice and I was rather pleased with the outcome! What however left me in doubt was.... do you eat this with any gravy vegetable? Please do let me know. I did enjoy eating the pulao without any gravy, savouring every morsel which sometimes brought a whiff of the spices in it, sometimes the sweetness of a plump raisin and the crunch of an almond! (now I know why the Nawabs must have favoured this preparation!!)
Here is the recipe with my tweaks: (for the original recipe, please click on the 'recipe' link given above)
1 cup Basmati Rice (uncooked)
A generous Pinch Saffron Threads
2 tbls. Ghee
1/2 Red Onion sliced thin
1/2 tsp Ginger and Garlic paste
1 Whole Clove
1 Cardamon Pod
1 Cinnamon Sticks (3” pieces)
1 tbsp. Golden Raisins
2 cups Water
3 tbsp Slivered Almonds
5 tsp milk
1 tbsp Yogurt
Rinse rice 3 to 4 times in cold water, drain well. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Lightly toast the saffron. Remove and add it to some water and keep aside.
Heat the Ghee over medium-high heat; add onions, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until onions soften slightly.
Stir in cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally to blend flavors.Add rice, and mix till every grain of rice is coated with ghee. Add the almonds and raisins. Add salt and mix well. Add water. Bring it to a boil. Add the saffron, Yogurt and milk.Cook (covered) till the rice is done and every grain of rice is separate. Serve immediately.
This will go to Nupur for the A-Z series.
Nupur has been a great hostess and this whole journey has been an awesome learning experience! Thank You Nupur for this wonderful opportunity!!