Pilau

 

Serves 4

 

The food is baked very slowly from evening before sundown until next day. Slow baking in a light oil bath creates potatoes & rice with crisp bottom crust. Aromatically seasoned w/cinnamon, raisin, and pepper, entire meal is cooked in one pan. As an alternate choice to meat, eggs in shell may be added to pan & baked, resulting in brown eggs w/a delicious roasted flavor.

1. Bring 5 cups of water w/1 tb salt to a boil in pan, add meat, & cook over moderate heat for mins. Remove foam that rises during this time. Remove meat from liquid & set aside.

2. Add rice to same liquid & cook over moderate heat for 5 mins. Drain rice through a colander, rinse under cold water, & set aside.

3.Put sliced potatoes on bottom of pan, arranged in orderly fashion. Spread over this half of rice & sprinkle w/pepper & cinnamon. Spread raisins in center of rice. Add all meat over this & balance of rice over all. Pour in cup of hot water & dribble oil over surface & around edges of pan.

4.Cover pan & cook over low heat for 1/2 hr. Reduce heat to very low & cook, tightly covered, for 5 hrs to produce crisp potatoes & rice. Serve warm.

VARIATION: One hard-cooked egg for each person may be added to rice and meat pan. Cook eggs in water w/1/2 ts salt for 5 mins. Salt is added to prevent shell from breaking. Rinse eggs in cold water & place them on top of rice in pan after adding hot water & oil. Cover pan & cook as directed.

NOTE: It is Basmati rice, found in Pakistan and Afghanistan, & is cleaned by hand three times to remove broken kernels, dirt & other impurities. This, in a general way, prepares rice for the holiday.


Recipe: "Sephardic Cooking" by Copeland Mark -- 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India -- Copyright 1992 Published by Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, N.Y. D. Pileggi



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