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NAVRATTAN PULAO

Ingredients:
Ricotta cheese - 250 gms
Oil for deep frying
Turmeric - 1 tbsp
Hot water - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
Almonds - 1/2 cup (blanched slivered)
Onion - 1/2 (sliced)
Garlic - 11 /2 tbsp (minced)
Ginger - 3 tbsp (minced)
Cardamom pods - 5 (lightly pounded)
Cinnamon -1 stick
Cloves - 3
Peppercorns - 10
Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
Green peas - 1 cup
Long grain rice - 2 cups
Salt - 2 tsp
Boiling water -4 cups
Dark raisins -1/2 cup
Sweet red cherries - 1/2 cup (pitted and quartered)

Method:

  • Enclose the cheese in cheesecloth and form into a rectangle.
  • Place the cheese between the two small cheese boards and put a light weight on top.
  • Let sit for about one hour to condense the cheese and squeeze excess moisture from it. Then cut the cheese into 1/2" cubes.
  • Deep fry in hot oil until they are golden brown. Drain the cheese. Discard the oil.
  • Mix the turmeric in hot water. Place the fried cheese into the turmeric mixture  and set aside.
  • Place the ghee and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry almonds until golden, and remove with a slotted spoon. Set them aside.
  • Add onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns to the pan. saute until onions are golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower and peas. Fry 2 minutes longer.
  • Into the same pan, put the rice. Add 2 tsp of salt and 4 cups of boiling water.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes to absorb all liquids. Remove from the heat.
  • Discard all whole spices, then stir in the cheese cubes, half the fried almonds, and 1/4 cup of the raisins.
  • Place on a serving platter.
  • Sprinkle with remaining almonds, raisins, and with the sweet cherries.



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