Friday, October 15, 2010

Rice Pilav

Pilav from Turkish cuisineImage via Wikipedia I ran out of mojo this week for captivating posts...too much stuff going on around here! So if you're looking for something more interesting, check out yesterday's with the Audrey Tautou Chanel commercial. Otherwise let's talk about rice.

Everybody like a good rice pilav. Pilav just means cooked rice, but the Turkish way of making it is particularly tasty, so that's probably why the name stuck. The simplest pilav is made with butter, rice and vermicelli.  It's Rice-a-roni on steriods.
I use jasmine rice, because that's my favorite, but any long grain rice will do. 

What you'll need:

1 cup of rice
2 cups of boiling water
salt to taste
1/4 cup of vermicelli
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

I always rinse the rice three times under cold water. Then I set some water to boil in my electric kettle. In the meantime, I melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan and toss in the vermicelli.  I stir that around until it's golden.  Then I add the rice and make sure all of it is covered with butter and the vermicelli is mixed in.  Salt to taste now...I don't have a scientific method for this. I just know what I like.

Add two cups of water.  Then next step is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP. Cover, reduce to the lowest possible setting, and walk away. For about 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid every five seconds to see if it's ready. At about 12 minutes, I'll look at the pot and see if it's sending me a steam, meaning it's still cooking, or black smoke, in which case my flame was way to high. Usually almost all of the water is evaporated and I give it a quick stir. Turn off the heat and set the table.  Serve with anything you like.

Variations I like:
  • Toasted pine nuts are a splurge that I like to add, if I have them.  I toss them with some more melted butter in a pan and then either mix them in at the last minute, or use them as a topping.  You can also use almonds for this.
  • Add saffron to the boiling water and let that sit for a minute before adding it to the rice for cooking.
  • Currants, pine nuts and saffon together are a showstopper.

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Natasha said...

Can anyone tell me if the North Indian pulau came from the Turkish pilav, or vice versa.
I cook it exactly the same as you do, except, at the preparatory stage, I lightly fry onions, a stick of cardamom, a bay leaf and a couple of heads of clove, then add the rice.
In India, we also add chopped vegetables, but I'm not a fan of that.

C. N. Nevets said...

Your blog makes me so hungry all the time.

Aleta said...

My husband used to work in the restaurant industry. He says the exact same thing that you do --- key point is NOT to lift the lid! (Which is always a temptation for me, Lol) We love Jasmine Rice too :)

Unknown said...

Oh, that rice looks delicious.


OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

yummmm!!! love the pine nuts touch - I cook almond rice with white wine, butter, toasted almonds and minced onions (different kick) but the pilav sounds lovely - Turkish food is my favorite!


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