Rice Pilaf with Currants and Pine Nuts
Serves 4 as a side dish. Published March 1, 2000.
If you like, olive oil can be substituted for the butter depending on what you are serving with the pilaf. Soaking the rice overnight in water results in more tender, separate grains. If you'd like to try it, add enough water to cover the rice by 1 inch after the rinsing process in step 1, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature 8 to 24 hours; reduce the amount of water to cook the rice to 2 cups. For the most evenly cooked rice, use a wide-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.
1 1/2cups basmati rice
or long-grain rice2 1/4cups water 1 1/2teaspoons table salt ground black pepper
3tablespoons unsalted butter 1small onion , minced (about 1/2 cup)1/2teaspoon ground turmeric 1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
2medium cloves garlic , minced1/4cup currants 1/4cup pine nuts , toasted in a small dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutesInstructions
- 1. Place rice in medium bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches; using hands, gently swish grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Repeat four to five times, until water runs almost clear. Using a colander or fine mesh strainer, drain water from rice; place colander over bowl and set aside.
- 2. Bring 2 1/4 cups water to boil, covered, in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add salt and season with pepper; cover to keep hot. Meanwhile, heat butter in large saucepan over medium heat until foam begins to subside; add onion and sauté until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add turmeric, cinnamon, and garlic to sautéed onion; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Add rice and stir to coat grains with butter; cook until edges of rice grains begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir hot seasoned water into rice; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes. Off heat, remove lid, sprinkle currants over rice in pan (do not mix in), and place kitchen towel folded in half over saucepan; replace lid. Let stand 10 minutes; toss in toasted pine nuts, fluff rice with fork, and serve.