Narali Bhath {Sweet coconut rice}

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child.  Celebrating Julia Child’s would-be 104th birthday on August 15th!

Today we celebrate ‘Raksha bandhan’ – A festival to celebrate the love and the lifetime bond of sisters and brothers. Sister ties a decorative thread on her brother’s wrist for his well being and in turn the brother promises to protect her for lifetime! Sweet isn’t it?

How about the special dessert we enjoy on this day? My all-time favorite ‘Narali bhath ‘- Sweet coconut rice cooked with aromatic cardamom, cloves, raisins and then garnished with saffron and lightly fried cashews! Absolutely delicious and simple recipe that I make throughout the year.

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You can use freshly grated coconut or the frozen fresh coconut that is available in most grocery stores. Any kind of rice works but I like to use the long-grained, aromatic Indian Basmati rice. Few other basic ingredients used in this recipe – cardamom, cloves, a little bit of ghee, raisins, saffron, sugar and cashews(optional).

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This recipe is a traditional Maharashtrian recipe and also one of my mom’s signature dish that was passed down to her by her mother. Every time I make this dish it stirs up the nostalgic memories of my childhood!

Step by Step recipe:

Add the saffron to warm milk and keep aside. Toast the cashews in a pan or stir-fry them in 1 tsp of ghee. Keep them aside for garnishing. Rinse and drain the rice. Heat a medium pot and add ghee to it. Add cloves and cardamom and fry them for a minute on medium heat. Add the rice to the pot and stir it gently with the cloves and cardamom for 2 mins.

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Add salt and water. Bring it to a boil on medium-high heat. Turn the heat on simmer and cover the pot. Let the rice cook for 10 minutes. At this time the rice will be fully cooked. Gently pour the rice in a wide platter and let it cool down for 5 mins.

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Take a spoonful of rice and gently mix it with the saffron soaked in milk. Keep aside for garnishing. Mix the cooked rice with sugar, grated coconut, cardamom powder and raisins. 

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Put it back in the pan the was used to cook the rice.  Put a lid on the pan and cook on lowest heat for 30 mins.

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Garnish with the cashews and rice mixed with saffron. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

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Recipe:

Prep time: 15 mins  Cooking time:45 mins  Total time: 50 mins

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee
1 cup sugar
1 cup grated coconut
4 cloves
2 cardamoms
1 tsp saffron
1 tsp milk
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp cashews lightly fried in 1 tsp of ghee.

Directions:

  1. Add the saffron to warm milk and keep aside. Toast the cashews in a pan or stir-fry them in 1 tsp of ghee. Keep them aside for garnishing.
  2. Rinse and drain the rice. Heat a medium pot and add ghee to it. Add cloves and cardamom and fry them for a minute on medium heat. Add the rice to the pot and stir it gently with the cloves and cardamom for 2 mins.
  3. Add salt and water. Bring it to a boil on medium-high heat. Turn the heat on simmer and cover the pot. Let the rice cook for 10 minutes.  At this time the rice will be fully cooked. Gently pour the rice in a wide platter and let it cool down for 5 mins.
  4. Take a spoonful of rice and gently mix it with the saffron soaked in milk. Mix the cooked rice with sugar, grated coconut, cardamom powder and raisins. Put it back in the pan the was used to cook the rice.  Put a lid on the pan and cook on lowest heat for 30 mins.
  5. Garnish with the cashews and rice mixed with saffron. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Enjoy and Happy Rakshabandhan!

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41 thoughts on “Narali Bhath {Sweet coconut rice}

  1. You had me at sweet ?
    This looks both fabulous and festive !!! The saffron rice is beautiful in this.. And all the ingredients are ones that my taste buds do cartwheels over ?

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