This simple recipe from Sujata’Di, one of our farmers and a brilliant cook, is nothing short of delightful. The lovely caramel, popcorn flavour and the glutinous texture of the rice celebrate that what the good earth has to offer.
Ingredients: for 4-6 servings
- 100 gms Kalabhaat
- 1.5 lts full fat milk
- Seeds from 3-4 green cardamom; toasted and lightly crushed
- 60-75 gms fine sugar
- 20 gms Kalimpong ghee
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Salt, a pinch
- Wash the rice thoroughly in a few changes of water.
- Lay the rice flat to dry for at least 15 minutes.
- While the rice is drying, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer it to reduce. Frequently, keep on stirring the milk, while it is reducing to ensure that the milk doesn’t burn.
- In a separate pan, over medium heat, toast the rice in the ghee. Stir them until the rice begins to pop and you can smell the nuttiness in the rice-ghee mixture: about 35-50 seconds.
- Once the rice begins to pop, add 200ml of water to it and cook to about 3/4th done: 15-20 minutes. Check if the rice is almost cooked. Add a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Reduce the heat to low.
- When the milk has reduced to about 1lt, turn off the heat.
- One ladle at a time, add the milk to the rice. Stir occasionally. Gently turn up the heat to medium.
- Check for consistency, if it is too runny, don’t worry as it will thicken up; and if it thickens up too much, add half a ladle of warm water, at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Add the sugar at this point in stages, checking for your desired sweetness.
- Throughout this whole process of adding milk and adjusting the consistency, the rice will get cooked. Sprinkle the toasted-crushed green cardamom seeds. Give it a stir and turn off the heat. Cover and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
- You can serve it warm, at room temperature or chilled. Tastes best next day, though.