Caroline Cooks

A modest documentation of my culinary exploits.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Pilau Rice

Middle Easterners have a knack for using few ingredients and simple preparation to produce luxurious dishes suitable for a grand feast. For who does not feel like a king when dining on skewers of roasted lamb, plump dates stuffed with almonds, and desserts dripping with golden honey?

In this Lebanese dish, pine nuts and currants peek out between grains of saffron-scented rice.

olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp currants
1/2 tsp saffron threads
2 cups long-grain rice
salt and freshly ground pepper

Saute the onions in the olive oil until soft. Add the pine nuts and saute for a few minutes longer, until the nuts are nicely toasted. Then add the currants, saffron, and rice (you may need more oil at this point), and continue to cook, stirring often, until the rice becomes transparent.

Add salt and pepper to taste and pour in enough water to cover the rice. Cover and cook on high until the rice begins to absorb the water. Then remove from the heat and allow the rice to absorb all the water (this should take about 20 minutes). You may need to add more water if the rice is still crunchy.

To mold the rice as I've done-- this always gives it a festive look-- pack the rice firmly into a bowl and invert it onto a serving plate.


Blogger EEP said...


9:20 PM  
Anonymous howcanueatthat said...

i want to poke it so that it falls apart. I have no idea why.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

dried currants, or fresh?

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Caroline said...

Karen - I used dried. I've never seen fresh for sale anywhere here.

3:17 PM  

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