Zarda (Indian Rice Pudding) - Just Dutch Oven Recipes

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Zarda (Indian Rice Pudding)

2 1/3 cups raw long grained rice
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
2 whole cardamom seeds -- shelled
5 whole cloves
one lemon -- juice of
1/4 cup light or dark raisins
1/4 cup unroasted pistachios
1/4 cup blanched almonds -- sliced and roasted
1/4 cup unsalted cashews -- brazil nuts or
filberts -- sliced and toasted
1 cup heavy cream -- whipped

Cook the rice in six cups of boiling water with the salt and saffron until half done, about ten minutes. Use enough saffron to give a rich yellow color. Drain. Boil the sugar with 3 3/4 C water for one minute, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. In the bottom of a heavy four quart Dutch oven or other large kettle, heat the butter. Add the cardamom and cloves and cook over low heat ten minutes. Add all but one half cup of the syrup and boil a minute or so. Add the rice to the mixture and cook, stirring gently until the butter is absorbed or about ten minutes. Add the lemon juice, raisins and nuts and cook over fairly high heat five minutes. Reduce heat to barely simmering and cook over low heat until the rice is tender. If the rice is not quite tender when the liquid has been absorbed, add the reserved liquid and continue to cook until rice is dry and soft. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for ten minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.