After all the excitement of this weekend and the SA BLOG AWARDS, it feels like I should be doing a lot more than just sharing my recipe for Pilaf with you. But after all, that’s why you guys love reading this blog, to get the recipes!
For someone who always claimed she doesn’t like rice, I’ve become quite adventurous with it lately. Everything from Risotto to Kedgeree and now Pilaf. Soon I’ll be attempting a proper Paella but that’s still a bit daunting for now, especially since I saw it being made on Master Chef Australia!
Pilaf, also know as Pilau, supposedly has it’s origins in Afghanistan. Now, I don’t know about you, but there’s not much about Afghanistan that I find attractive. But the fact that this gem of a dish originated there, was quite a redeeming quality for the poor Afghans.
And once again, as the case is with most rice dishes, this is incredibly versatile. Anything goes as long as you keep the fragrant spices as one of the main ingredients. I didn’t make this Pilaf too hot as I wanted my twins to be able to eat it but you could definitely taste the coriander, cumin, paprika and turmeric. Of course you can add some chopped chillies but I wouldn’t make it too hot. This isn’t a Biryani after all (although the final product is very, very similar).
I also loved how easy this is. Most of the time with rice dishes it either takes a lot of stirring and waiting around (Risotto) or a truck-load of prep and assembling (Biryani). This is as easy as sauteing the chicken and onions with the spices, adding the rice, apricots and stock and allowing it to boil for a few minutes before turning off the heat and allowing it to steam until the rice is just tender and sticky. Lovely!
4 large chicken breasts, cubed
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsn ground coriander
2tsp ground cumin
1tbsn garam masala
2 cups basmati/jasmine rice
100g (3.53 ounces) dried apricots, finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
flaked almonds and fresh parsley to serve
- In a large saucepan, fry the chicken and onions until the chicken starts to brown. Add the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spices and stir to combine.
- Add the rice and apricots and stir to coat the rice in the spices.
- Add the chicken stock and turn down the heat. Allow to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until there is only a little bit of stock left in the pot and the rice is almost cooked.
- Turn the heat off and place a lid on the pot. Allow to steam for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked.
- Serve with a scattering of almonds and fresh parsley.