Sakhar bhat :A popular dessert cooked in many states in India known by different names is prepared using long grain rice(Basmati rice) cooked with Saffron and sugar using generous amount of ghee.
This dessert relishes my childhood memories. Most of the time ‘Sakharbhat’ which is our traditional dessert is being served for Boufet, specially hindu weddings in Goa. Sakhar means Sugar and Bhat means rice. Hence the name ‘Sakhar bhat’.
There is one comedy associated with this sweet as told by one of my Catholic Goan friend. Once he had to go for wedding of one of his hindu friend and saw this Sakharbhat on Boufet table. Prior to that he never had tried it out and didn’t know what was it called and thought, must be some kind of pulav and took lots on his plate and topped it up with some gravy. The moment he put it in his mouth, his eyes rolled over. Couldn’t even throw it away as hundreds of guests were around. Somehow managed to finish and learnt from others that it’s a dessert and not the main course. The moment he told me, I had a hearty laugh and still remember the incident.
Sakhar bhat is not only prepared in Goa, but in many other states in India , known by different names. In Maharashtra, people call it Kesar bhat (Kesar meaning saffron and bhat is rice). Anyways, this Sakharbhat which is supposed to be a traditional Goan sweet is kind of disappearing from the menu nowadays and has taken its place by modern desserts like pudding, custard, ice creams etc. I can’t really associate one person with this recipe, but it has been carried over in our house from generations. Learnt it from my mom and she of course from her elders.
Note: Though I have skipped cloves, you can add 4-5 cloves while frying nuts, to get extra flavor.
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time : 20 Minutes
Serves :6 People
- 1 Cup Basmati / Long grain rice
- 1/2 Cup Ghee / Clarified butter + 1 Tablespoon Extra
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Generous pinch of Keshar / Saffron
- 2 Tablespoons crushed Nuts(I used Cashews and Pista)
- 2 Tablespoons Raisins
- 2 1/2 Cups Water
- 1 Teaspoon cardamom powder
- Pinch of salt
Wash rice well with water 3-4 times and leave it aside for 20 minutes.
In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and fry cashew nuts and raisins for a minute . Remove and keep aside.
In the same saucepan, add the remaining ghee , water , salt and saffron. Mix and let it come to boil.
Once the water is boiled, add soaked rice and let it come to boil. Once the rice and water comes to rolling boil, adjust the heat to medium and cover it. While covering, make sure not to cover it fully , so as to allow steam to escape. Otherwise once the water and rice starts to boil, it starts to overflow.
After about 5-6 minutes water will be absorbed.Now reduce the heat to low setting and cook till the rice is nice and soft. Stir in between.
Once the rice is soft, add sugar, fried nuts ,raisins and cardamom powder.Mix .
Cover and simmer on low for 5 more minutes and remove from heat.
Enjoy it hot or after it is cooled.