Pilaf Rice with Nuts & Dried Fruit Recipe

Today I challenged myself by venturing beyond my usual culinary repertoire so I attempted a Lebanese inspired pilaf. The idea of blending fluffy rice with a medley of savoury nuts and sweet dried fruits captivated my curiosity, motivating me to embark on this flavourful adventure.

As I assembled the ingredients and readied my kitchen for the culinary endeavor ahead, a blend of anticipation and apprehension hung in the air. The alluring fragrances of spices and herbs permeating the room.

The process of toasting the nuts and simmering everything together felt like a well-choreographed dance. Each step brought me closer to the final masterpiece, as the flavours melded into a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. As I garnished the pilaf rice with a generous sprinkling of nuts and dried fruits, I couldn't help but marvel at the transformation before me.

With bated breath, I took my first bite, savouring the medley of tastes that exploded in my mouth. The nuttiness of the almonds, the sweetness of the dried apricots, and the earthiness of the rice created a sensation unlike any other, an appetizing triumph that I was truly proud of.

In conclusion, my foray into this recipe was a delightful experience that opened my eyes to the wonders of fusion cuisine. The blend of savory and sweet, soft and crunchy, created a dish that was not only satisfying to the palate but also to the soul. I look forward to further exploring the world of pilaf rice and discovering new flavors and textures along the way.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 

35g shelled pistachios
35g slivered almonds
30g unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves
1/2 small onion
160g basmati or long grain rice
435ml vegetable stock
100g sultanas
55g dried apricots
finely chopped parsley, to garnish

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tiny pinch ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Place a large saucepan over a medium high heat.

2. Add almonds and pistachios.  Toast lightly, shaking the pan until the nuts burst with aroma.  Remove immediately. 

3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium high heat.  Add the garlic and onion and saute until translucent.

4. Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds or until mostly translucent.

5. Add the spices and stir.  Add the broth, sultanas and apricots and stir.

6. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer and then immediately reduce the to medium low.

7. Cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove the pot from the heat (still covered) and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.

8. Remove the lid, use a fork to fluff the rice.  Add most of the nuts and mix with the rice.

5. Divide between serving bowls.  Garnish with the remaining nuts and a little sprinkle of parsley and serve.