Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spiced Rice Pilaf (Lela's Rice)

This is pure sentiment when I make this rice.  I had a neighbor who lived in the apartment below us when I was pregnant with my first child.  She and her husband were from Iran, and her name was Lela. A few times, she brought me plates of wonderful food, telling me that in her culture, it was bad luck if you didn't share aromatic foods with pregnant women nearby, because if they smell it, and crave it, it may be bad for the baby not to have it.  Well! She was a good cook! After a few times up the stairs with her wonderful food, I did crave it!  I've not been able to duplicate any of her recipes, but this comes close to her yummy rice.

Spiced Rice Pilaf (Lela's Rice)
1 1/4 c. rice
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled, chopped
1/2 tsp. cardamom
3 black pepper corns
3 whole cloves
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. tumeric
2 1/2 c. boiling water
salt and pepper
1/3 c. raisins
1/2 c. peas (I use frozen, thawed)

Measure all spices into a small dish, so everything is ready and you can work quickly.  Heat oil in a skillet (one that has a lid), add onion and spices. Add rice and stir to coat in spiced oil.  Add boiling water, bring to boil, stir well, then cover.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 min. without uncovering.  Stir in raisins and peas, recover and let stand 15 min. Fluff with a fork, sprinkle with almonds and serve.
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If you are visiting, welcome! I am in the process of a Vulcan Mind Meld with my computer to put all of my right hand recipes for feeding my family on here as fast as possible. Please come back often and stay awhile. There are so many exciting things to come!

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