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La Belle Cuisine - More Side Dish Recipes

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Basmati Rice Pilaf




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~ E. B. White

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Basmati Rice Pilaf

Second Helpings from Union
Square Cafe: 140 New Favorites
from New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano, 2001, HarperCollins

“Basmati is a long-grained rice prized in Indian cookery for its fragrance and
nutty flavor. Once exclusively an Asian import, good-quality basmati is now
grown in Texas as well. In this recipe, the rice is enhanced with freshly
toasted spices, sautéed onions, and mushrooms to make a fabulous pilaf…
Black cumin is a smoky spice, prized in northern Indian cooking, that is
available in most Middle Eastern or Indian specialty stores.”

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
2 cloves
5 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon black cumin or cumin
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 cups thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cover the rice with cold water and stir with your fingers until the water becomes cloudy. Carefully pour off the water, reserving
the rice. Repeat 2 to 3 times, until the water is almost clear. Cover with
fresh, cold water and soak for 10 minutes.
3. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and set aside.
4. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a 3-quart straight-sided sauce-
pan until it begins to turn nut-brown. Add the spices and cook until
fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the onion and cook until it begins to
brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened,
2 to 3 minutes.
5. Drain the rice, add it to the pan, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute to coat
the rice with the butter. Season with the salt and pepper, and pour in
the reserved hot water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover
with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil, place in the oven, and bake for
10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand, still covered, for 5
minutes. Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork, and serve hot.
[An excellent accompaniment to Sautéed Shrimp Goan Style]

Featured Archive Recipes:
Three-Grain Pilaf with Almonds and Shiitake Mushrooms
Pilaf of Barley, Mushrooms, Peas and Radicchio
Elizabeth David's Rice Pilau
Curried Basmati Rice

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