Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Simple Pilaf

This is a very simple rice dish I can throw together with ingredients I almost always have on hand; in fact, it's basically as quick as using a boxed rice pilaf, but with more control of the ingredients, and it costs less.

I use a vegetarian chicken-flavored broth powder from the bulk section of City Market in Burlington, but you could use chicken bouilion or broth, or some combination.  The addition of a little curry powder heightens the flavor without giving it a noticeable curry flavor. I use dried minced onion just for convenience and speed, but you could certainly saute minced onions, and I do that when I want more onion than I put in this dish. Add garlic, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes if you want.  Or herbs - especially parsley and thyme. But it's not necessary for a basic pilaf.

I always have frozen petite green peas on hand to add to salads or rice dishes.  They only need to be thawed in the dish itself at the end of cooking.  For more onion and a little green I've used minced onion tops that I always have in the winter.

I usually add golden raisins to my curries or pilafs, but used craisins instead and liked them a lot.  I use short grain rice lately, but use the rice you want and adjust the water accordingly (long-grain converted generally takes 2 1/2 times as much water as rice, instead of 2 to 1)

I think sour cream is a separate food group, and so of course I look to use it where I can.


2 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable broth powder, or can of chicken broth instead of equivalent water
2 Tablespoons dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
salt and pepper to taste (the broth powder does not have salt)

Bring to a boil and add
1 cup short grain rice

Stir a couple of times, adjust the heat to very low, and barely simmer until all the water is absorbed (generally 20-25 minutes or so).  Stir in frozen green peas.  Add minced onion tops or scallions.  Top with raisins or craisins, and optional sour cream, yogurt, or cottage cheese.

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