Quick Indian Pilaf

March 2, 2015

It’s gratifying to receive an email from a friend who’s just heated up the leftovers of a meal you prepared at her house, and HAS to have the recipe. Here’s one I happen to remember for a cheater’s version of Indian Rice Pilaf. In her beautiful, straight-sided copper pan I melted 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat and sautéed 1 medium onion, finely chopped, until translucent, then added 2 1/2 cups raw Basmati rice, 3 bay leaves, and about 10 green cardamom pods and continued to sauté until it was all sizzling and wonderful to inhale. I added a generous amount of salt and 4 1/2 cups of hot vegetable stock, covered it, and let it simmer over very low heat for about twenty minutes. During that time, I fried in about an inch of grapeseed oil very thin slices of 1 medium onion that I had soaked for about half an hour in lightly acidulated water (I used white vinegar) and then drained and blotted dry. When those were perfectly browned, I scooped them out of the oil with a slotted spoon, reserved most of the oil for making Chinese food next weekend (stay tuned) and fried 1/3 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios until they were toasted. The fried onions and pistachios, scattered atop the cooked pilaf look so gorgeous in that copper pan we stuck it right on the table and dug in.

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