Pilaf with sour cherries & lentils
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Pilaf with sour cherries & lentils
  Pilaf    Cherries    Lentils    Grains    Middle east  
Last updated 6/12/2012 1:17:59 AM. Recipe ID 48609. Report a problem with this recipe.
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      Title: Pilaf with sour cherries & lentils
 Categories: Grains, Middle east
      Yield: 2 Servings
      2 c  Basmati rice (*)
      2    Onions, peeled
           -(thinly sliced)
    1/2 c  Red lentils (*)
      7 oz Sour cherries,
           -or more  (*)
      2 c  Chicken or meat
           -broth (*)
      4 tb Butter, unsalted,
           -or more
           Turmeric, cumin, salt
  In a 4-5 quart Dutch oven, melt most of the butter and slowly brown
  the onions.  Add the cleaned lentils and fry a bit; then the same for
  the cleaned rice. Stir constantly, browning the rice without letting
  it stick.
  Add the cherries and about 2 1/4 cups liquid made up of cherry liquid,
  stock and water. Add about 1/4 - 1 t turmeric and about 1/4 t ground
  cumin if desired; add necessary salt (depending on the saltiness of
  your broth).
  Bring to a boil, stir with a fork, cover tightly, and let cook over
  the very lowest heat for about 20 minutes. Fluff up the rice with a
  fork (never a spoon) and add the remaining butter to the bottom of
  the pot.
  Raise the heat slightly for 5-10 mins to form a crust on the bottom
  (with the right technique, this should be possible without this
  step...). Serve, making sure to include a bit of crust in each
  *  Pilaf with sour cherries and lentils -- This Pilaf with sour
  cherries and lentils is a Persian-style dish, although I cannot vouch
  for its authenticity. It is rich enough to eat for dinner by itself;
  as a side dish, it might be good with a spiced grilled chicken or a
  lamb stew. It is a composite of recipes from cookbooks and from a
  Iranian Jewish family I know.
  *  An excellent side dish is yoghurt, possibly flavored (like the
  Indian raita) with one or more of: fresh chopped herbs (parsley,
  coriander, mint), some salt, some spice (paprika, black pepper, black
  onion seed, or coriander seed), olive oil and lemon juice. Even
  better than yoghurt as a base is strained yoghurt, also called Lebany
  Spread or Lebanee, available commercially in New England from Columbo
  or Eunuch (look in Armenian/Arab/Greek stores).
  *  Basmati or Patna rice is a particularly flavorful and long-grained
  rice from India or Pakistan.  Any Indian store and many "natural
  foods" stores carry it. It is well worth the premium price (about
  $1.10 a pound); "Texmati" is apparently the same strain grown in
  Texas, but does not have anything like the same taste. Inspect and
  clean it before using, there are often unhusked grains and
  occasionally pebbles mixed in. Then rinse in two changes of water and
  drain thoroughly. If you cannot get Basmati, use a good-quality
  unconverted long-grain rice (Alma, Carolina, but NOT Uncle Ben's!).
  *  Red lentils are about half the diameter of ordinary brown lentils.
  Do not substitute brown lentils, which will probably not cook fast
  enough. Red lentils are available in Indian, Middle Eastern and some
  "natural foods" stores.  They often contain largish pebbles, so
  inspect them carefully. Rinse to get rid of dust, and drain. Red
  lentils are also very good by themselves, simply boiled with a few
  spices and served with butter.
  *  Sour cherries (in the Middle East, v/w + i + s/sh + n + e/a/ino:
  Greek Vissino, Slavic and Turkish Vishnea, Arabic Wishna) are
  available fresh for about one week a year. Most sour cherries go into
  cherry syrups, pies and preserves.  Canned sour cherries are quite
  good. You will usually find them in the home pie-making section of
  your market, near the canned blueberries and baker's supplies, or
  with the canned fruits. There are occasional stones. (That is, pits,
  not rocks!) Middle Eastern stores will often have sour cherry
  preserves, which are too sweet for this recipe.
  *  Almost any stock or broth will work in this recipe. Chicken or
  lamb is most appropriate, in the latter case, used rather dilute.
  This is one of the few recipes where you can actually get away with
  canned chicken broth, but watch the salt.
  : Difficulty:  easy to moderate.
  : Time:  30-40 minutes.
  : Precision:  approximate measurement OK.
  : Stavros Macrakis
  : Aiken Computation Laboratory, Harvard
  : macrakis@harvard.ARPA

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Recipe ID 48609 (Apr 03, 2005)

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