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I had this one day, at a Persian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. It was so good with some okra stew or oxtail stew that I had to try it myself. Serving is for two people, because that's how many people live at home.
- Soak rice in water for 3-4 hours, then cook in salted water for 10-15 minutes using a non-stick pot until it just softens.
- Drain water and empty the pot.
- Bring 2-3 cups of water to boil.
- Wash lentil and add to water with a bit of salt.
- Cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until tender.
- Peel and thinly slice onions.
- Fry in oil until slightly golden.
- Add ground beef or lamb, salt and black pepper, and fry over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add one cup of hot water and cook until water has been mostly absorbed.
- Wash raisins and dates.
- Pour 1/2 cup of water and some oil in the non-stick pot.
- Pour in half of the rice.
- Follow with meat, lentil, and raisins.
- Add in remainder of rice.
- Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Dissolve saffron in 1/3 cup of hot water and pour over the rice.
- Mix well before serving.
4 1/2 stars. Not as flavourful as we are used to but DH liked this for a different ground meat & rice dish. I did not use the regular red split lentils as I just felt that is not what this dish meant and after searching the net about red lentils in Iranian Pilaf I used brown lentils instead but had to cook them much longer. I used white Basmati rice and ground beef, yellow raisins because I didn't have Iranian sultanas on hand, I did use al noor dates from Tunisia (the dates are not listed in the ingredients just in the instructions!) Saffron from Spain as I don't think Iranian saffron would call for so much and next time I would use less water to soak them as it seemed a bit much to pour over the final dish. For the cooking oil I used extra virgin olive oil and sea salt for the salt. I served it with a Balkan (thick) plain yogurt. I might make this again.
This was a lovely meal. I increased it to 3 large onions. I think this might hold up better with brown lentils as opposed to red lentils, but the brown lentils would need to cook longer. I just think they would hold their shape and be less mushy. But overall, the flavor was simple, but wonderful.
OMG this was delicious I love the combination of fruit, meat & saffron. I made eggplant stew to go with it and added some cucumber & yoghurt salad - heavenly