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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

नारळी भात/ Narali Bhat/ Sweet Coconut Rice

Today is Narali Pornima. A festival where the fishermen worship Sea. Usually celebrated in Maharashtra-Goa region of India. To know more about this festival click here. We also celebrate Raksha Bandhan on the same pornima i.e. Full moon day. Raksha Bandhan is nothing but a day when a brother takes an oath to protect his sister for life, and sister ties a Rakhee (a decorated thread) on his right wrist and feeds him sweets.

This rice is made on this day all across Maharashtra. It has great flavor of coconut, jaggery and a few spices. Very easy to make.

Ingredients:

  1. Basmati Rice: 2 Cups
  2. Gul/ Jaggery: 3 ½ Cups 
  3. Khavlela Naral/ Shredded Coconut (Fresh or frozen): 1 ½ Cups 
  4. Desi ghee/ Clarified butter: 5-6 Tbsp. 
  5. Lavang/ Cloves: 10-12
  6. Dalchini/ cinnamon stick: 2-3 (small) 
  7. Veldoda/ Whole Green cardamom: 7-8 
  8. Slivered almonds: A fistful 
  9. Golden Raisins:  A fistful
  10. Cashews: A fistful 
  11. Hot Water: 3 Cups 
  12. Saffron strands soaked in warm milk (2 Tbsp.)  
  13. Salt: A pinch
  14. Lemon juice: 1 Tsp.
Method:
  1. Wash the rice till the water is clear and keep it aside for an hour or so. Do not soak it in the water after washing it. 
  2. After an hour put the rice in a pan and add hot water to it. 
  3. Add a pinch of salt and lemon juice to it. Lemon juice will help the rice grain to separate and will keep the white color intact. 
  4. Cook the rice either in rice cooker or on the stove top. Do not pressure cook it otherwise it will be mushy. 
  5. After the rice is cooked, immediately pour it on a flat surface like a big plate, tray or simply lay silver foil on your counter top and spread the rice on it to cool down. 
  6. Take a big wok and add ghee to it. 
  7. Put cloves, cinnamon sticks to the tempering. 
  8. Put cashews and roast a bit. (Optional step)
  9. Now put the jaggery and coconut to the tempering. 

  10. Stir it well. At this time the jaggery will start to melt, so keep the flame on low to avoid burning or caramelizing the jaggery. 
  11. Put all the remaining dry fruits now. This step is completely optional. Nuts taste good but they aren’t the necessary item in this dish. 
  12. Once the all the ingredients are mixed properly and you see a little bubbles of the jaggery, add the rice to it. 
  13. Please be very gentle while handling the rice. We want the grains to be intact so be very careful while mixing it with the jaggery mixture. 
  14. Now add saffron milk to it and put a lid. 

  15. Put the gas on the lowest possible setting for 5-7 minutes. Please be careful not to burn the rice. 
  16. Once it is done, take a bowl and serve it hot. 
  17. Honestly in my opinion this rice tastes better the next day but obviously you can serve it right after making it.

Hope you like this super easy and super quick recipe of नारळी भात /Narali Bhat/ sweet coconut rice.

P.S.: In many regions it is made with sugar instead of jaggery. So add 3 ½ cups of Sugar instead of jaggery and follow all the steps in the same way.


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