The quintessential dessert at all Goan Hindu weddings and festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi. Delicately sweetened, and mildly spiced, this dish is hard to dislike. Being the sweet-toothed kid in the family, this dish was one of my favorites!
1. Wash and rinse the rice well. Then set aside to soak for at least 5 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a flat-bottomed pan. Once heated, add the cashews. Saute until slightly golden. In addition to the cashews, you may also add raisins and/or almonds. Drain on paper towel, and set aside.
3. Now add the remaining ghee. Add the cloves and cardamom. Wait for it to splutter, then add drained rice.
4. Saute the rice in the ghee until well coated. Then add two and a half cups of water.
5. Mix well and let cook until most of the water evaporates. Then turn the stove on simmer and close with lid. Alternatively, you may also transfer the rice into a pressure cooker and cook until 2-3 whistles as usual.
6. On the side, add the kesar in warm milk and set aside for about 10 minutes.
7. In a different saucepan, take 1/2 cup of water and heat on medium flame. Add the sugar and let it heat until it thickens, while stirring continuously. A test for good thick syrup, take a few drops on a plate at the side, let it cool. Then if it forms a string when touched with the thumb and index finger, it is perfect. Else it needs further heating.
8. Once done, add the fried cashews to the syrup. Stir.
9. Add the sugar syrup + cashews to the rice. Also add the kesar soaked in milk. The rice at this point will turn watery again. Turn the stove to a medium, and cook until it completely dries out.
10. Let it cool to room temperature, then serve!