Kesar Chawal Recipe

Ingredients* 1 cup long grain Indian Basmati Rice* 2 cup warm water and extra water, for washing and soaking rice* Salt to taste* 1/4 tsp Saffron Strands* 1 Bay Leaf* 2 - 2 inch Cinnamon Sticks* 4 Green Cardamoms* 15-20 pieces of Paneer (Cottage Cheese) cubes (about 1cm x 1 cm each)* 1/3 cup Raisins* 10 Cashew Nuts* A little Hot Milk* 2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter), for fryingMethod* Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain thoroughly.* Soak saffron in a little hot milk for about 15 minutes, till milk is a deep orange-yellow colour. You may vary the quantity of saffron, depending upon it's quality. If the quality is not very good, you may need a little more saffron to achieve this colour and vice versa.* Heat oil in a wok. Fry the cashewnuts till golden. Drain and set aside. Next, fry the paneer cubes, till light golden, drain and set aside.* In a pan, heat ghee or clarified butter. Add the bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon.* Add the rice. Add salt. Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and rice looks glossy.* Add warm water. Bring to a boil. Add the raisins. Stir once.* Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over.* When holes appear on the surface and water has almost evaporated, lightly fork in the paneer cubes. Sprinkle the saffron liquid on top.* When water has completely evaporated, fork the rice out onto a serving serving dish. This will separate each grain out. This rice will have a beautiful mix of white and yellow and half coloured grains.* Garnish with fried cashewnuts. Serve hot with any creamy curry.