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recipe for Zarda Pulao-Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Nuts and Currants

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:47 am
by theviolinist
1 1/4 cups basmati rice
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1/4 cup ghee or canola oil
2-inch piece cinnamon stick
10 green cardamom pods, pounded in a mortar and pestle to break open shells
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
Combine rice and water in a medium bowl and soak 20 minutes. Drain and reserve water. Set rice and water aside separately. Meanwhile, toast saffron in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring and removing pan from heat occasionally to keep from burning, until saffron darkens to a maroon color and is fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Crush to a coarse powder in a mortar and pestle, or in a bowl with the back of a spoon. Stir in milk or cream and set aside. Combine ghee or oil, cinnamon stick, cardamom and ginger in a medium heavy bottomed dish over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes. Add currants and nuts and cook, stirring 1 minute. Add reserved water, lower heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle rice evenly with sugar. Drizzle saffron mixture over the top. Put pan over very low heat, cover and continue cooking 5 more minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4 to 6