Recipe by Sharon123
A great recipe using eggplant and spices. Adapted from Gourmet magazine. A Russian recipe! The ingredients are also typically African/Middle Eastern.
Top Review by Valerie K.
I am so in love with this recipe. I made it three years ago and was recently dreaming about it. I tried to find the recipe and passed over it a few times because there were no pictures, but the flavors were so memorable that I knew it was the one when I started reading it. I have made it exactly as described, except once with brown rice, and it has been wonderful both times. I am disappointed that the other reviewers changed it so much, because the specific flavors go together so well (using almonds instead of pine nuts will not have the same result, and the flavor of butter or canned tomatoes could easily overpower the other delicate flavors). I am happy to be reunited with this recipe and will make sure I don't lose it again!
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1/2 lb)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup raisins or 1⁄4 cup dried currant
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon cumin (to taste)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 large tomatoes, peeled seeded, and finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1⁄4 cup shelled pine nuts, coarsely chopped (or pistachios)
Directions See How It's Made
- Cover the eggplant with water in a bowl and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons salt. Soak 30 minutes. Drain eggplant and squeeze by handfuls to remove excess moisture, then pat dry.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking, and sauté eggplant, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 7 minutes. Cool eggplant.
- Cook onions in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 3-4 quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Add rice and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, raisins, remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt, cumin and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered and undisturbed, until rice is tender, about 12 minutes.
- Fluff rice with a fork and gently stir in tomato and eggplant. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover and cool 10 minutes. Stir in dill, then transfer pilaf to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with pine nuts(or pistachios).
- The pilaf can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat in the microwave.
- Makes 6 servings.