Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
This rich pilaf from _Anjum's New Indian_ starts with whole spices toasted in oil, then rice, almonds and raisins are cooked in water and milk scented with saffron. (If you substitute coconut milk or water for the milk, this is vegan.) Posted by Caroline Russock at Serious Eats. http://bit.ly/hIqzbj
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 large pinch saffron thread
- 2 tablespoons hot milk or 2 tablespoons hot coconut milk or 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 cinnamon stick, 3-inch long
- 3 cloves
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 3⁄4 cups water
- 2 dried figs, chopped
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons walnuts or 2 tablespoons pistachios
- Rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Put rice in a bowl and cover with fresh water. Add saffron to hot milk and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan until it shimmers. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods and bay leaf. Cook until it begins to be fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add onions and saute until they soften and turn golden, 4-6 minutes. Add almonds and raisins and cook another 2 minutes.
- Drain rice and add to pan. Stir 1-2 minutes until it begins to appear opaque. Add saffron and milk, water, figs and salt. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook 7-8 minutes. Taste; if rice is not quite cooked through, recover and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Season with black pepper. Add walnuts/pistachios and fluff rice with a fork as you stir them inches Let stand 4 minutes to absorb any remaining liquid; serve hot.