Bahraini Sweet Rice (Muhammar)
- Ready In:
- 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed in cold water
- 1⁄4 cup date molasses (date syrup, dibs tamar in Arabic, found in Middle Eastern shops)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon saffron, ground (I use a mortar and pestle. Iranian saffron is definitely superior in taste and colour)
- 1⁄4 tablespoon cardamom, freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon rose water (I prefer Iranian, I find flower waters vary quite a bit in quality)
- sea salt, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter, a lot is needed to form the sought after crust (or ghee, (or more)
- Combine, saffron, freshly ground cardamom and rose water in a small cup.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil with sea salt to taste. Add the rice and boil uncovered for precisely 8 minutes, then drain.
- Mix the date molasses with the rice, then mix in the rose water mixture.
- Choose a medium sized heavy bottomed pot (I use a cast iron pan, see intro). Melt the butter in it over medium heat. Add 2 spatula-fulls of rice and mix with the butter, patting down to cover the bottom of the dish. Pile the reminder of the rice in a loose cone shape and poke a few holes in the rice with the spoon handle. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over the rice, then cover tightly. Place over medium low heat and let cook for 20-25 minutes. Keep a close eye at the end as the rice can burn (use your nose to see if it begins to smell burned).
- The easiest way to unmold the rice is to prepare a sinkful of cold water, dip the bottom of the pot in cold water for about 30 seconds, then invert the pot onto a serving platter. If the rice crust does not release fully, simply break up the crunchy pieces that stuck to the pot and scatter over top.
- Serve with recipe#443922 or a Gulf Arabian fish or shrimp dish.
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Good grief, I burnt the rice. I wasn't being careful. Will try again and I think part of the problem was we have a highly efficient gas stove top and for that reason I will lower the heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes remembering to check the rice at that point. I'll be back by the end of the month to re-review and star rate. Update: 21 April 2012 Success! Loved it! Heat was lowered the last 10 minutes to low and no burnt rice! To loosen the rice from the bottom of the pan, first I filled a 9" round Pyrex pie pan half full of water and submerged the pan. Worked perfectly! Served with simple roasted chicken and pan grilled asparagus. Reviewed for NA*ME March.
I LOVED this rice. The spices (I followed exactly, grinding my cardamom pods, etc) and the date syrup (like Rita I made date syrup which was delicious though more like a paste than a syrup) gave this buttery rice a marvelous flavor and the crunchy bits from the crust were heaven. My crust was not all it should have been--next time I hope it will be picture-worthy but it couldn't taste any better. I did use brown basmati rice. Great recipe!!!! Thanks, Umm.