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Tibetan Saffron Rice (Dresil)

Rice, Noodles, and Other Grain Foods

Tibetan Saffron Rice (Dresil)
2 to 3 saffron threads
pinch of salt
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup golden dried currants
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom
1. In a small, heavy saucepan, heat one and two-thirds cups of water. Add the saffron threads and the salt, then remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for about ten minutes until the water turns a deep, rich yellow.
2. Wash the rice until the water is clear. Then bring the saffron water to a rolling boil, stir in the rice then the raisins, currants, and almonds. Cover tightly and cook over a very low heat for fifteen minutes.
3. Meanwhile, blend the honey, butter, and cardamom; and when the rice is done, stir this honey mixture into the pot, and cover and let it stand on a wooden block for five minutes. Then fluff with a fork and serve immediately.
Note: Served with spicy baistsaa, the sweetness of this rice dish offsets the bite of the cabbage dish as well as compliments the smoothness of shabril. Barley is the staple grain of Tibet. Prior to the Chinese invasion, rice was a costly import that had to be carried from India across the Himalayas on the backs of porters. Not surprising, this rice dish was a luxury and a sign of wealth.

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