Clean and soak 1/2 cup basmati rice 2 to 4 hours
heat 2 1/2 quarts milk
heat 3 3/4 cups water
measure 1/4 cup raw sugar*
put 1 dozen strands saffron or seeds from 6-8 cardamom pods (powdered in mortar) in 1/8 cup warm water, let stand 10 minutes
measure 1/4 cup raisins
chop 1 tbls raw cashews
3 tbls ghee
*In halwa and kheer recipes, you may wish to substitute honey for raw sugar. If so, add it after cooking, but when the dish is still warm. Honey must not be cooked too much, or it will become difficult to digest.
Heat ghee in wok over medium flame.
Add sugar and carmelize slightly.
Pour in drained rice and raisins.
Fry, stirring with wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. It should be gently and slowly fried, constantly stirring so as not to burn it.
Add 2 cups milk and the saffron. When it cooks down and hisses as stirred, add 2 cups milk.
Let cook down again as before and add more milk. Stir enough to prevent sticking.
Continue this process adding cashew slightly before the last of the milk. It must cook until the rice is very tender and has the consistency of a thick, creamy soup. It must be removed from the flame when it boils and starts popping out of the pot.
Serve hot or cold.
From "Himalayan Mountain Cookery", by Martha Ballentine
Copyright 2004 West-Art, Prometheus 91/2004
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science, Nr. 91, Spring 2004