The past month was a busy one, it had a terrific start with IFBM2014. The whole month was full of surprises, we completed our two-year mark in Bangalore and suddenly when today I checked my calendar to my surprise we have already reached the middle of the year. It feels as if we barely started in this New Year in January, somebody rightly said time just flies by. September is a special month for me not only it’s my birthday month but also a lot of my dear friends and family members have their birthday this month. So that means more celebration and more get together. And by the time hangover of September parties end festive preparations will begin at full swing for Diwali.
As usual, the weekend was super busy, we hosted two parties consecutively, which were pending for a long time, thankfully both the days it was lunch plan so I had enough time at night to clean the mess and plan for the next day. Though I love cooking for friends and family especially sharing a meal with loved ones and catching up with each other’s busy lives. After too much cooking and indulgence for continuous two days yesterday night I planned for a humble meal a simple pilaf with dollops of fresh yogurt and green salad, we both filled our plates with pilaf on top with a drizzle of yogurt and salad on the side and enjoyed our favorite television shows after a long time. Momo was also quite for a change, as last two days he was busy meeting new friends and entertaining guests, we signed off to bed early with a hope that coming week will be less demanding though I could see exactly opposite of that.
Mediterranean Brown Rice Pilaf
2 Cup long grain brown rice
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 pinch saffron, steeped in 1/4 cup hot but not boiling water
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 green cardamom pod, crushed
1 star anise
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 thumb size stick of cinnamon
1/4 cup almond, chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt, as per taste
2 tbsp olive oil
Ingredients to garnish
A fistful of pomegranate seeds
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
Add bay leaf, cardamom, star anise and cinnamon stick. Let it heat until aroma of spices is released.
Stir in the onion and saute until translucent and aromatic but not browned. Now add chopped carrot and saute for another 2 – 3 minutes or until you smell the aroma of nuts.
Add the rice and sauté the rice for a few minutes until it is translucent around the edges.
Add the saffron and its water, the stock, raisins, peas, salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
Bring the dish to a simmer. Then turn the heat to medium, cook until all the water is been absorbed by the rice.
While the pilaf is cooking, toast the nuts until golden brown. Once done, set aside to cool.
Check the rice to see that all of the water has been absorbed and that the rice is cooked through and tender.
Once the rice is done, cover with a tight fitting lid and let the dish rest for at least 10 to 20 minutes.
To serve the dish, fluff the rice with fork and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, toasted nuts and pomegranate seeds.