‘Saakhar Bhaat’ literally means Sugar Rice! As you can guess, it is a sweet dish made with rice as its main ingredient. It is a traditional Maharashtrian dessert that is prepared on festive occasions.
This year on Dassehra, I chose to make Saakhar Bhaat and got this hand-down recipe from Mum. Dassehra is a Hindu festival that marks the victory of Sri Rama over Ravana and also Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. It is considered one of the auspicious days to buy new things or start a new venture. As for me, my venture was in the kitchen, so went ahead for a recipe that I had never attempted before.
Even though it is rice, I would like to stress that it is a dessert. It is quite rich with ghee and sugar, so be mindful while you gorge on this decadent dessert. Without further ado, lets dive into the recipe.
- 1 cup rice (I prefer Basmati rice)
- 2 cups plain water
- 1.5 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp ghee
- 3-4 cloves
- Small piece cinnamon
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 10-12 almonds
- Few strands of saffron
- 3 green cardamom pods
- Pinch of salt
- Orange food colour – optional
- Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
- Blanch almonds : Soak the almonds in hot water (covered) for 10-15 minutes. The skin will soften and will easily come off. Sliver the almonds and halve some for garnish.
- Take 2 tbsp hot water and let the saffron strands infuse in it. That way we can get maximum flavour and colour from the beautiful saffron.
- Open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds to a powder.
- In a pan, add 2 tbsp of ghee and once heated through, add the cloves and cinnamon.
- Next, fry the rice in the ghee for couple of minutes. (I ♥ this aroma!)
- Add water and a pinch of salt. Mix through. Cover and cook on low flame till the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.
- Once the rice grains have softened, add the sugar, raisins, slivered almonds, cardamom, saffron and food colour if using. Mix well.
- You will notice, after adding sugar, it releases moisture. Cook covered on low till the dampness is completely absorbed. This takes around 10 minutes, depending on the quantity.
- Lastly, garnish with the 1 tsp of ghee and halved almonds.
- Saakhar Bhaat tastes best when devoured hot!
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