I made this simple, delicious and filling pilaf last week and sitting down to write about it makes me want to cook it again. Again, it is another meatless dish from Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat. If you’re in the market for a new cookbook I would not hesitate in recommending it.
Jones suggests a couple of serving suggestions to accompany the dish; I topped the pilaf with a fried egg and sprinkled it with dried chilli. Next time I might throw in some chopped dried apricots and sultanas before cooking the rice.
This dish comfortably served 4, and I received many envious and admiring comments from my work colleagues the next day!
A gentle brown rice pilaf with toasted nuts and seeds
From A Modern Way to Eat
300g brown basmati rice
50g pine nuts
50g cashew nuts
50g pumpkin seeds
a good knob of butter or olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 unwaxed lemon, halved
A small bunch of mixed fresh soft herbs (I used mint and dill)
Soak your rice in cold water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put a large pan (one that has a lid) on a medium heat and toast the nuts and seeds without any oil until golden brown. Remove them from the pan and put to one side.
Next, add a good knob of butter or olive oil to the pan and fry the onions on a medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the spices and cook for a further 5 minutes, to allow them to release their fragrant oils and warming smell.
Drain the rice, then wash it under cold running water until the water runs clean. Add it to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring as you go.
Add a really good pinch of salt and the lemon halves, then add enough cold water to cover the rice (450 – 500 mL is about right). Put the lid on the pan, then follow this method: high cook, low cook, no cook. Turn the heat to high for 5 minutes, then turn it down low and cook for 15 minutes. Now turn the heat off and leave without touching for 10 minutes.
Take off the lid, take out the lemon halves and squeeze the juice over the rice. Stir in the toasted nuts and seeds. Check for seasoning – add a little more salt and lemon juice if needed.
Spoon into bowls and top with the yoghurt and chopped herbs.