Turkistan Pilavi (Rice Pilaf with Carrots, Raisins and Pine Nuts)
I usually make this pilaf during the high holidays because it is particularly impressive and decadent. The rice is juicy, yet the grains remain separate.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup small raisins (or dried cranberries)
- 3 cups boiling mineral or filtered water
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and carrot, and cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes until onion and carrots are soft. Add rice and sauté for about a minute, stirring, until the rice is hot and coated in oil.
- Add pine nuts, raisins and boiling water. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper, mix and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over lowest flame for about 18 minutes until the rice is cooked. Turn off flame, stir and leave the rice to steam, covered, for another 10 minutes
- – Replace the carrots with 1 sweet potato, coarsely grated.
- – Add 2 cups finely chopped spinach when the rice is ready. Stir and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Reprinted with permission from My Balkan Kitchen by Shaily Lipa (Al Hashulchan, 2014) (in Hebrew). Translated by Merav Levkowitz.