Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Perfect Pilaf Rice

Not so much my own recipe, as the first time I tried out the summary recipe from this excellent Guardian article on the perfect pilaf. I followed the instructions exactly, despite having misgivings about boiling the rice in so much water, and leaving a tea towel near an open flame. The rice came out fragrant, fluffy, perfectly-cooked, and where the butter had fried it, just a little decadent. I think next time I will ever-so-slightly increase the heat, so as to get more of a seared base, but such adjustments will be vary individually depending on your own hob. I could also see topping this with some sultanas and almonds, but as it stands the flavours are subtle yet fantastic.

  • 300g white basmati rice
  • Salt
  • Generous knob of butter
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 strips of lemon zest
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)

Rinse the rice thoroughly and tip into a large saucepan of boiling, salted water. Stir, bring back to the boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain well and season to taste. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a clean pan over a medium heat then add the spices and lemon zest. Cook for a minute, then add 2 tbsp water and a layer of rice. Heap the rest on top in layers, making sure not to push it down. Make 5 air holes in the surface with the handle of a wooden spoon, wrap a lid of the pan in a clean tea towel and cover. Cook over a very low heat for 30 minutes.

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