Wash rice in plenty of water and drain well.
Chop nuts (cashew, almonds or pistachios) and fry in 2 tbsp of ghee along with raisins until the nuts turn a light brown and raisins start to puff up. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, add 1 more tablespoon of ghee and stir in cinnamon and cloves. Saute on medium heat until it starts to emanate an aroma.
Add drained rice and fry on medium low for a few minutes until the rice starts to glisten with ghee.
Stir in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Either cook in pressure pan for 2 whistles or in a closed saucepan until all the moisture is gone and the rice is soft, tender and cooked well but each grain is still separate.
Rice should be cooked well as once you add sugar, it will not cook further; stir in sugar and grated apple along with soaked saffron with the milk.
Mix well on medium high heat, stirring often until the sugar starts to melt.
Keep cooking stirring constantly, adding more ghee, powdered cardamom, nuts and raisins and until all the sugar has melted completely, flavors have combined well and the whole mixture is soft and almost dry.
Remove from heat and serve hot topped with extra fresh ghee!
Make sure the rice is well cooked but not overcooked before adding the sugar.
Add more ghee for a richer dessert!
Kesari bhaath is best enjoyed hot.
I have added only one apple, but you can add more and reduce the sugar for a low sugar dessert.
If you like your desserts sweet, increase the amount of sugar.