This Bismati pilaf would be a delicious accompaniment to many Indian meals or a side for grilled meat or fish. I used it to accompany Kashmiri Spiced Lamb (See previous recipe).
Bismati Pullao from Ismail Merchant’s Indian Cuisine
Yield: 4-6 servings (Can be doubled)
1.5 cups Basmati rice
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1/2 cup raw cashews (or pistachios)
1/2 cup seedless golden raisins
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Soak the rice in cold water to cover for about 30 minutes. Then drain well through a sieve.
- Heat the oil or ghee in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onions and saute until the onion becomes translucent and softens. Add the well-drained rice, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, saffron, cashews and raisins and stir for 2 minutes, coating everything with the onions and oil or ghee.
- Add 3 cups of cold water to the pot along with the salt. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender and fluffy and all of the water is absorbed. (The cooking time will depend on the brand of rice and how long it soaked prior to cooking.) Stir through with a fork and serve.