Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cashew and Raisin Pilau

Today I'm sharing a rice recipe that I think is really amazing, and probably my favorite component of this week's Indian recipe extravaganza. I want to say it's the best rice ever, but that's a pretty bold statement so I'll just say it's really delicious. If you aren't a huge fan of either raisins or cashews or you just don't like "things" in your rice, you could definitely omit those two ingredients. But, I will say that it's important to try new things and even if you think you don't like something, it's possible that your palate has changed because people evolve! Anyway, I really enjoyed this rice, as did my family, so please, try this recipe soon.

Ingredients [serves 4]:
1-1/3 cup basmati rice
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
pinch saffron
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
The first step is to soak the rice. Pour the rice in a bowl and add enough water to cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Next, heat the chicken stock until it's simmering and remove from the heat. Add in a pinch of saffron and let it steep while you move onto the next step.
In another saucepan, add the butter, onions, and garlic. Once the butter melts and starts sizzling, add in the bay leaf, cardamom, and cinnamon. Let this all sizzle together for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. At this point, the kitchen will start to smell amazing.
Once the rice has been soaked, drain the excess water.
Add the rice to the pot and stir around to coat in the lovely flavored butter for a few minutes, stirring continuously. Then pour in the stock and add in the raisins. Give the pot one stir and allow to come to a boil. Once the stock is boiling, reduce to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Allow this to cook for 10 minutes or until all of the stock has been absorbed into the rice.
While the rice is cooking, toast some cashews in a bit of oil. You want to keep shaking the pan or use a spoon to move the cashews around so they don't burn.
Once the rice is cooked through, fluff it up with a fork and then add in the cashews.
Give it a final stir and serve.
As you eat this rice, you'll encounter a few grains of really yellow rice (which were adjacent to the bits of saffron while it was cooking), pops of sweetness from the raisins, and a nice textural contrast from the crunchy cashews. Enjoy!
Here's the recipe page:

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