Wash, rinse, and soak rice in water for 20 minutes. Drain the rice and keep it aside. Soak saffron in milk and set aside for garnishing
Turn Instant Pot to Saute(more) mode. Add half of the ghee and cashews. Cook the cashews for a minute or until they turn golden brown, stirring constantly. Take the cashews out and keep them aside for garnishing in the end.
Add remaining ghee to the pot. Add cardamom pods and cloves. Cook for 10-15 seconds as they release the aromas. Add drained rice and toast gently for a minute stirring constantly.
Add water and salt. Mix well. Make sure all the rice is submerged underwater. Close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing. Pressure Cook for 6 minutes followed by 5-minute Natural Pressure Release.
Open Instant pot. Add coconut, sugar, raisins, and cardamom powder. Mix well.
Set Instant Pot to Saute(less) mode. Cook with a glass lid on for 5 minutes. Garnish with fried cashews and saffron. Enjoy!
Soak rice for at least 20 minutes so the rice looks fluffy and light. If you do not have time to soak the rice, add 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice and cook it on low-pressure mode for 5 minutes followed by a quick release.
Once the rice is cooked, fluff it gently with a fork or silicone spatula. This will prevent the grains from breaking.
For nut allergies, skip cashews.
To make a vegan variation of sweet coconut rice, use neutral cooking oil or coconut oil for the ghee and soak the saffron in warm water instead of milk.
Although, I like to use basmati rice for this recipe other short-grain white rice such as Jasmine, Ambe Mor, Surati Kolam, etc can be substituted. Just note that the final dish may have a bit sticky texture but will still have the same delicious taste and delicate aromatic flavors.
Jaggery can be substituted for sugar in this recipe, although the color of the final dish will be different.