I just got back from a wonderful break in the beautiful and mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh. Although we were there only for four days it was absolutely worth it. Getting away from the heat of the plains was what we needed and the night before we reached the city of Manali, fresh snow had fallen on the mountains overlooking the city. The sight from our hotel room in Manali was breathtaking. The balcony overlooked an apple orchard with a meandering river and the snow-capped mountains in the horizon. We couldn't have asked for a better view.
|View from our hotel room in Manali|
|Meetha bhat with dried apples|
|Walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, hazel nuts (not seen), |
cashew& dried apples sit pretty on my kitchen shelf
250 grams Basmati rice
2 tablespoons soaked raisins
10-12 almonds soaked in water, skin removed and slivered
The same amount of cashew nuts
15-20 slices of dried apples
A few pieces of dry coconut cut fine
2 Indian bay leaves
2 sticks of cinnamon (1" pieces)
2 pods of cardamom
80 grams of sugar (Traditionally it's made much sweeter than the one I cooked. The recipe had half a kilogram of sugar for 500 grams of rice)
3 tablespoons of ghee
A few strands of saffron, soaked in a bit of warm milk
Water (double the amount of rice)
- Wash and soak the rice for one hour.
- Boil the rice in enough water so that it is cooked.
- In a large plate spread the cooked rice, add the raisins, the coconut, cashew nuts, the dried apples, the sugar and half the ghee.
- In another pan, heat the remaining ghee and then add the bay leaves and the other aromatics.
- Put in the rice mixture and mix gently so that the grains do not break.
- Keep the heat low and the rice covered. Stir occasionally. Add the saffron.
- When fully done the rice will have a golden tinge and the sugar will have completely permeated the rice.