A few days ago I read this post about how to make Pilaf rice on Hungry and frozen,a New Zealand food blog that I follow. It sounded so easy and so delicious that I immediately attempted my version of this Persian classic. I have made it 3 times the last week because I like it so much and in addition it is so quick and straight forward to prepare. You only need one pot,it makes great use of leftover vegetables and it works by itself as well as a side for chicken or lamb. Who would have thought that rice can taste that fantastic?
Ute’s AROMATIC AND FRAGRANT PILAF RICE
Amount: for 2 people as main,4 people as a side
Preparation time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 2 cups of water
- 1 half onion,finely diced
- 20 ml olive oil
- 20 mg of butter
- a cup of frozen peas
- a handful of spinach leaves
- 20mg of sliced almonds
- 5-7 slightly crushed cardamom pods
- a teaspoon of cumin seeds
- a teaspoon of garam massala,
- a teaspoon of ginger,
- a teaspoon of Szechuan pepper (adapt to how spicy you like it)
- 5 threads of saffron (soak in hot water for 3 minutes)
- Low fat Greek Yoghurt
- Toast the almonds in the same pan with lid,that you will later cook the rice in,until nicely browned. Set almonds aside.
- Heat olive oil and butter in the pan and cook onions on medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened,stirring occasionally.
- Add all the spices and roast for about a minute.
- Add the basmati rice to the hot pan and fry for about 3 minutes until fragrant and golden,then stir in the saffron threads (including the by now yellow water that you have used to soften them).
- Add 2 cups of water and some salt,then cook on low heat for about 10 minutes until rice is soft and water is absorbed
- When the rice is almost done,add the peas and the spinach leaves and cook some more until the peas are soft and the spinach leaves have nicely melted into the rice
- Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt (nice to mix some lemon juice,salt and pepper into the yoghurt first) and garnish with toasted almonds.