• Basmati rice (soaked) – 1 cup
• Cinnamon – 1small stick
• Coconut (dry, sliced) – a handful
• Dates (sliced) – a handful
• Almond (chopped) – a handful
• Cashew nut (chopped) – a handful
• Pista (chopped) – a handful
• Soak the rice for about 30 min. Boil 2 cups of water and add ½ tsp turmeric into it. Drain the soaked rice and carefully pour into the boiling water and cook the rice over medium heat. Once the rice is 80% cooked, drain the rice and keep it aside on a chain (Strainer). Take a new heavy-bottomed pan, heat over medium flame. Add ghee to the vessel once it's hot.
• Once the ghee melts. Add in the whole spices and the dried coconut. Stir for about 2 minutes and add in the kishmish, dates, almonds and cashew nuts. Roast this for about 1 min and ass in the pista and cook until the nutty flavour develops.
• Now add in the milk and saffron. Boil until the saffron releases its colour and sweet smell. Now, add in the sugar, rose water and kewra water. Stir until everything mixes well. Add in the rice and carefully mix the milk in the rice in a lift and drop motion using a flat spoon. The aim is to avoid the rice grains from breaking.
• Cover the vessel with a lid and cook on low flame for 5-7 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed by the rice.
• Switch off the heat and leave the rice with the lid on for another 5 minutes. Open the lid and using a flat spoon, lift the rice from the sides to allow the grains to open up. Transfer to the serving platter and serve hot.
TIPS AND TRICKS WHILE COOKING SWEET RICE (MEETHE CHAWAL)
• Always cook meethe chawal in ghee, using a regular oil will never give good results.
• Use a thick variety for example ‘sela’.
• Best alternative for saffron is turmeric.
• Always put sugar at the end and not in raw rice, as it may make the rice sticky by the end of the recipe.
• If you’re using a variety of rice that you commonly use, then keep your ratios in mind while cooking towards the end. Increase or decrease the volume of milk used to fine-tune according to your rice.
• After the process of dum, Leave the rice in the pan for about 5-10 min extra to allow the rice to absorb any extra liquid and swell up nicely.