Basmati rice – 1/2 kg
Sugar – 3/4 kg
Pure ghee – 250 gms
Almonds – 25 gms
Raisins – 25 gms
Dry dates – 50 gms
Dry coconuts – 50 gms
Shelled musk melon seeds – 25 gms
Black cardamoms – 25 gms
Black peppercorns – 10 gms
Cinnamon – 5 gms
Green cardamoms – 5 gms
Cloves – 2
Green ginger – 20 gms
Sugar candy crystals – 25 gms
Kewra essence – 5 drops
Saffron – a pinch
Salt as per taste
1. Wash and soak the basmati rice for 2 hours.
2. Blanch the almonds.
3. After soaking the dates in water for an hour, rinse these in more water. Cut each date lengthwise into 5 or 6 slices, discarding the stones.
4. Pare the dry coconut and cut into thin slices.
5. Take out seeds of black cardamom. Crush the seeds with peppercorns.
6. Wash, scrape and chop the green ginger.
7. In a thick bottomed pan, boil the basmati rice in the water in which it was kept soaking, till it is almost cooked and all water is absorbed. Stir once or twice while boiling, so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
8. Meanwhile, in a pan, put the sugar and add a little more than 1/4 litre of water, along with the cinnamon pieces, almonds, raisins, dates, coconut slices, melon seeds, crushed cardamom seeds, crushed peppercorns and chopped green ginger. Also add the saffron. Stir and boil on a low flame till the sugar gets dissolved.
9. Transfer the cooked rice to a large pan and add the condimented syrup, along with pounded green cardamoms. Add ghee and the two cloves. Now, gently mix this and cover its mouth with a fitting lid. Seal the edges of the pan with wheat flour dough so as to make the pan airtight.
10. Place on very low heat for 20 minutes.
11. Break the dough apart, open the lid and serve the pulav hot.