What colour is sacrifice?
You are thinking what is she on about? How can sacrifice have a colour? Well, sacrifice doesn’t literally have a colour but in India, the colour saffron stands for courage, valour and sacrifice. That’s why we have orange colour in our flag: the courage of countless young men and women who sacrificed their lives and livelihood so that the future generations can be free to not only dream but also to turn those dreams into reality. The colour orange reminds every Indian not to forget the sacrifices that won us the freedom from the British.
My great grandfather Master Sunder Singh Lyallipuri was at the vanguard of struggle for freedom: founding and leading the freedom movement in the nation of Punjab, organising the Sikh people to democratise their religious institutions, educating the young by opening schools and colleges and spreading the ideals of freedom and equality by starting numerous newspapers and journals. All of this came at a great personal cost to him and his family. He was jailed for long periods number of times and was sentenced to death by hanging (later commuted). The political party he founded, religious movement he created, the schools and the newspapers he founded are still going strong. I am amazed by what my grandfather achieved!
So I am sharing the recipe for saffron rice (also called jarda in Punjabi) on this very special day, the day India declared itself a republic, fully free from any external power, in control of its own destiny. And I am dedicating this recipe to my great grandfather who played an important role in bringing about this freedom. Here’s to his courage, bravery and vision and to men and women who struggled alongside him.
I hope you enjoy the saffron rice.
- 2 cup rice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 5-6 cloves
- 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes
- 1/2 tsp orange colour food colour
- 5-6 tbsp ghee
Mix the orange colour in 3 tbsp of water.
Pour 5-6 cups of water in a large pan. Once the water starts boiling, add the coloured water and rice.
Cover the pan and lower the heat and cook the rice for 7-8 minutes (any longer and it will overcook).
Drain the excess water from rice and keep the rice aside.
Add oil to a pan.
Once oil is hot, add coconut slices and cloves.
Fry for few seconds and then add 1/4 cup water and sugar.
Once the sugar dissolves, take a spoonful of the sugar mix. Dip your index finger in the mix. Bring your thumb and index finger together and then slowly move them apart about one centimetre. If a single string of sugar forms, then the sugar mix is ready (see picture above to see what I mean by single string). If you keep on cooking the sugar mix after this, it will make the rice hard.
Add the par boiled rice to the sugar mix.
Mix the rice carefully so that it’s evenly coated with sugar.
Take the rice off the heat and cover with a wet cotton cloth (make sure the water is completely squeezed from the cloth). Place a heavy tray or a pan on top. Set the rice aside for 10 minutes.