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Kashmiri Pulao

1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice
1 cup cooked peas, carrots and french beans
1" piece ginger chopped
2 green cardamoms
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1 tsp asofoetida
1-1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/3 cup cottage cheese or paneer
1 mixed cup of almonds, pistachio & raisins
1/8 cup seedless green grapes
2-1/2 tsp melted ghee
A pinch of saffron dissolved in warm milk
Salt to taste

Fry the washed and drained rice in ghee for a few minutes. Add a little less than three cups of water. Bring to boil and simmer till liquid is absorbed. The grains should be tender and separate. Fry the cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves and gently fry. Stir in the vegetables, asofoetida, garam masala powder, salt, sugar and saffron milk. Garnish with the chopped nuts and coriander leaves.

Navrattan Pullao (Nine-Jeweled Rice)

1 cup Basmati rice
1-3/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Ghee
6 Cloves
1" Cinnamon stick
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Cumin seed
1/4 cup frozen peas, boiled
Salt to taste
6 drops green food coloring mixed with 1 tsp water
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper
Garam Masala
6 drops red food coloring mixed in 2 t water.
2-1/4 cup Ghee
1 oz Almonds
1 oz Cashew nuts
1-1/2 oz Golden raisins
1 oz Pistachios
1" piece Ginger, thinly sliced
1 Green chili (optional)

Clean, wash, and soak rice in 1-3/4 cups water for pressure cooking, or in 2 cups of water for pan cooking. Heat oil and fry the whole spices for 1 minute. Add rice and fry for 2/3 minutes to coat the rice grains with oil. Add the water which the rice was soaking in. Pressure cook, building up the pressure to 15 psi and let drop, OR cook in a pan bringing to full boil then down to a simmer followed by 20 minutes of cooking until the rice is done.

Divide rice into three parts. Thoroughly mix one part rice with the peas, salt and green food coloring. Mix one part of rice with the tomatoes, red pepper, salt, garam masala and red food coloring. Leave the last part plain. Keep rice separate and warm in the oven.

Fry the almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, raisins, ginger and chili. Keep warm until needed. To serve, place fried nuts, raisins, ginger and chili in the center of a large serving dish or platter, and spread the three batches of rice in clumps around it decoratively.

Zarda (Sweet Saffron Pilaf)

2 cups basmati rice
1 tsp saffron threads
Ghee for frying
10 whole cloves
8 green
cardamon pods
1 stick cinnamon, 3 inches long
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

Soak the rice in cold water for Ĺ hour, then drain, reserving liquid, and set aside. Dry roast and powder the saffron, then dissolve with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside. In a little hot ghee fry the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon until lightly browned and puffed. Add rice and fry until the rice is thoroughly coated with the ghee and begins to brown (about 3 minutes). Add reserved water, saffron water, raisins, sugar, and salt, and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer partially covered for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the surface of the rice is filled with steamy holes. There is no need to stir, but if you do, stir gently. Cover the pan tightly, reduce heat to lowest simmer, and let the rice steam for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, and donít stir. Uncover, fluff the rice, and offer.