Here’s the recipe: (serves 6 to 8)
Ingredients required for sweet coconut rice (Narali Bhaat)
4 cups old rice
1 grated fresh coconut
6 cups jaggery
1 cup ghee(clarified butter)
Blanched almonds and or raisins
Wash and drain the rice. Keep aside for about an hour.
Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a pan and add the cloves to it. Add the washed and drained rice to this.
Roast the rice in the ghee for a couple of minutes, till all the grains get coated with ghee.
Add in twice the measure of warm water to the rice and cook the rice. Remember, the rice needs to be nice and fluffy....each grain needs to stand out.
In a thick bottom pan, cook the grated coconut and the jaggery together. All the jaggery has to melt and softens the coconut slightly.
Add the cooked rice this and fold into the coconut-jaggery mix. To this add in the cardamom, blanched almonds and raisins.
Add in the rest of the ghee and fold again taking care not to mush the rice. Cover and let it steam once.
If you can manage adding coconut milk, the flavours will enhance doubly!! If you plan to do so, you will need to add 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup of water to the rice in order to cook it.
You may serve Narali Bhaat warm or cold depending on your tastes and preferences. You may also serve Narali Bhaat in a coconut shell cup to make it extra special!
Preeti Deo, India News Bulletin’s food expert, works in a Special Needs School and is passionate about cooking and experimenting with traditional Maharashtrian recipes.
Recently she has started a project whereby she is cooking up dishes following the recipes from the traditional Marathi cookbook Ruchira by late Kamalabai Ogale.