Before we go into anything let me just clarify that Meetha Chawal or Sweet Rice is not a Bengali Dish.
It very well could have been given how much a Bengali loves her rice and sweet.But the point of the matter is it is not. I guess this whole dish passed a Bong by and I am sure if he or she, the Bong that is, had any inkling of this dessert it would have been christened "Mishti Modhur Bhaat" and be a staple dessert to be served during Pujo and Bijoya. After all it has rice and sugar. What else doe one need ?
Me, for myself, first had this at a party last year where it was cooked by a Punjabi colleague's wife. It was exquisite. Long grains of rice sweetened with sugar and loaded in kaju and kishmis with a fragrance of ghee and saffron hanging around it. His wife was a good cook and I was sure it was a pretty difficult dish to cook involving hours of sweet labor.
Turns out Not.
Turns out it can also be done in the Microwave. Now to make larger portions, the stove top might be a better option but for small quantities I found the Microwave is perfect.
Durga Pujo starts this Saturday. Navratri is already in full swing. I haven't been able to take a breather to glance around and realize that. Adjusting to the new neighborhood, BigSis's new school and boxes to be opened and stowed away at every corner is taking up all our time. But somewhere in my being I do have a feeling that halfway across the globe, life is not as mundane and tiring as mine, as preparations to welcome Devi Durga have reached a crescendo. It is not that I miss it terribly and I am kind of relieved that I do not need to push aside crowds at Baagbazaar or College Square to have a glimpse of the protima but some days, sometimes, when the chores get heavy and the day drags on I want to be back there oblivious of BS's homework or my long drive or LS's nasty cough brought on by the October cold or one more box that needs to be opened and stored away.
But since that is not going to happen let us share Mishti instead, easy ones, quick ones, the ones that are doable in your new Tangail or whatever saree you have bought this year
It is through this that I send you all happy wishes on Navratri and Durga Pujo. May you find joy in the path you seek and may the path sweeten lives around you.
And now to the recipe of Meetha Chawal in the microwave which I made following this recipe from Tarla Dalal's site.
Soak 1/2 cup of long grained Basmati Rice in water for 20-30 mins
In a microwave safe bowl with flat bottom add 1 tbsp Ghee. Microwave at full power for 1 min
To above add 4 green cardamom, 2 clove, a 2" stick of cinnamon. Microwave again for 1 min.
Drain rice and add to the bowl. Mix so that the rice grains are coated with ghee. Microwave for 1 min.
Now add 1 cup water + 1/2 cup Milk to the bowl and mix with the rice. Add few strands of saffron. Microwave for 10 mins at 5 minute intervals i.e. take out after 5 min, mix and microwave again
By 10 mins the rice will almost be done. This will depend on quality of rice as well as power of microwave. If not done continue for 5 more minutes till rice is almost done.
Now time to add little more than 1/4th cup of sugar. Take out the rice and check if there is little water in there. If completely dry dissolve sugar in little water and then add, else just add the sugar. Mix with rice.Microwave for 2-3 more minutes
Meanwhile saute cashews and raisins in ghee on the stove. Once the rice is done mix the kaju and kishmis with the rice. Serve hot.
Here are some more sweets and savories for you to make during Durga Pujo
|Microwave Besan Laddoo|
To find more of recipes like this please check the updated recipe index page at Bong Mom's CookBook Recipe Index.
I usually a do a Giveaway on my blog around this time.Please stay tuned and I will announce one soon.Meanwhile enjoy Pujo.