I had started posting my Mom’s recipes from what is now termed “Mom’s Golden Recipe Book.” It’s actually a notebook from her college days when she had taken home science classes at the age of 16. It’s fun because the terms are so outdated and lots of ingredients or steps are missing in recipes. Mom says the teacher worked too fast! Well here is one more of my favorites- fragrant pineapple rice. A bit sweet, but an aromatic, rich, and unusual rice dish for dinner. I like to caramelise my pineapple first for more flavour, and I personally love fruit in my savoury dishes!
- 150g ripe pineapple (about ½ cup)
- 2 ½ teaspoons sugar, divided
- ½ cup rice
- 1 cassia leaf
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 3 cardamoms
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- 5 tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 3 tablespoons ghee, divided
- Cut the pineapple in thick circles and chop off the outer thick skin, remove the white middle circle of each slice. Finely shred the pineapple.
- Wash and soak the rice in water for ½ hour. Sieve to drain the water.
- Soak the saffron in milk.
- Pound the cardamom coarsely.
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a small saucepan on medium heat.
- Add pineapple and 1 teaspoon sugar, sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft and lightly caramelized. Remove the pan.
- Heat remaining ghee in the same pan on medium heat. Add cassia leaf, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Stir for a minute and add the rice. Sauté till the rice becomes light golden in color, about ½ minute to 1 minute.
- Add water to pan, bring rice to boil. Add pineapple and remaining sugar, if desired. Reduce heat to simmer, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, pour in saffron and milk and return to heat for 5 more minutes.
- Serve hot as a side with any main.
Critical Ingredients: The pineapple is critical of course! I love savoury fruit dishes, but can’t think of too many substitutes! (Banana?) You can skip the cassia leaf, or use a bay leaf instead. If you don’t have whole nutmeg to grate that’s ok – use powdered. Cinnamon is better whole, but a pinch of powder will also do. NO saffron? Add the milk anyway for richness. Cardamom and cloves give nice flavour, try and find them whole! This is a sweetish rice, and rich with ghee and flavour! Serve it with something light!