Indian Food : Kesar Chawal Recipe

Kesar Chawal


  • 1 cup long grain Indian Basmati Rice
  • 2 cup warm water and extra water, for washing and soaking rice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Saffron Strands
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 – 2 inch Cinnamon Sticks
  • 4 Green Cardamoms
  • 15-20 pieces of Paneer (Cottage Cheese) cubes (about 1cm x 1 cm each)
  • 1/3 cup Raisins
  • 10 Cashew Nuts
  • A little Hot Milk
  • 2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter), for frying


  • Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain thoroughly.
  • Soak saffron in a little hot milk for about 15 minutes, till milk is a deep orange-yellow colour. You may vary the quantity of saffron, depending upon it’s quality. If the quality is not very good, you may need a little more saffron to achieve this colour and vice versa.
  • Heat oil in a wok. Fry the cashewnuts till golden. Drain and set aside. Next, fry the paneer cubes, till light golden, drain and set aside.
  • In a pan, heat ghee or clarified butter. Add the bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon.
  • Add the rice. Add salt. Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and rice looks glossy.
  • Add warm water. Bring to a boil. Add the raisins. Stir once.
  • Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over.
  • When holes appear on the surface and water has almost evaporated, lightly fork in the cottage cheese (paneer) cubes. Sprinkle the saffron liquid on top.
  • When water has completely evaporated, fork the rice out onto a serving serving dish. This will separate each grain out. This rice will have a beautiful mix of white and yellow and half colored grains.

Garnish with fried cashew nuts. Serve hot with any creamy curry.