Pilaf rice is great accompaniment to curries, stews, barbecued and roasted dishes.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
5cm ginger, peeled & chopped (optional)
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
250g basmati rice, rinsed & left in cold water for 20
1 pinch of saffron strands (optional)
3 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
600ml vegetable/chicken stock (you may use stock cubes)
150g drained canned chickpeas
1 tomato, diced
1 tbsp. currants (optional)
100g shelled pistachios, toasted (optional)
Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
Salt & pepper
Heat an oven to 175°C. In a large oven-proof saucepan, melt the butter, add
the onion and ginger, and sauté for 5 minutes so that they are soft.
Strain the rice and add to the pan, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring
Add the garlic, cardamom pods, saffron (if using) & cinnamon to the rice and
stir over the heat for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in enough stock to cover the rice generously and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chickpeas.
Cover the rice with buttered parchment paper & a lid.
Place the rice in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes; the stock should
all be absorbed and the rice tender. If the rice is still not cooked and the stock
is all gone add a little more boiling stock or water and place in the oven for a
further 5 minutes.
When cooked, remove from the oven and stir in the tomatoes, currants, pistachios (optional),
coriander and lime or lemon juice and distribute well. Serve.