Well actually I do not know because I have never made one before, but having been asked to provide one for a barbecue I had to have a go. Usually you would look up a few recipes, pick the nicest sounding ones and try them out first but it was the day of the barbecue by now and time was of the essence so I picked one of my favourite rice dishes ( a quick carrot and nut pilaff ) that I thought could be converted to a sort of Tabulleh inspired dish that would be good at room temperature.
The basic pilaff is made as follows ( for two people, I just quadrupled everything) :-
- Peel and chop an onion and a clove of garlic and set to cook gently in some olive oil
- Add in a carrot peeled and cut up into matchstick shaped pieces. You can grate it but I wanted pieces with a bit of crunch left in them after cooking.
- Add some spices, 1tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp ground coriander seeds, 2 tsp black mustard seeds, and 4 cardammon pods.
- Let it cook through for a minute or so then add a cup of basmati rice.
- Give it another couple minutes, stirring the rice in, then add 2 cups of vegetable stock and a bayleaf.
Cook until the rice is just cooked.
If you add a cupfull of nuts, salt, pepper and some parsley, you get a lovely pilaff that is great served warm with leftover roast lamb and bread.
To make a salad I allowed the rice to cool down a bit then poured in some more olive oil, stirring until it loosened up a bit and glistened. Then added
- A cupfull of roughly chopped nuts - pistachios and almonds were nice
- And a big hand full of chopped coriander leaves (and stalks), parsley and chives
Now leave to sit so the flavours blend together and it comes to room temperature, adding more oil if neccessary if the rice gets too sticky.
And finally a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving cuts through the oil and adds a zingyness to the dish.
And the result? Well I don't know about anybody else but I liked it, and it certainly came out the way I hoped it would, spiced but not the usual curry powder and quite fresh tasting with all the herbs.
Saturday, December 6, 2008