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.
Title: Pilaf with sour cherries & lentils
Categories: Grains, Middle east
Yield: 2 Servings
2 c Basmati rice (*)
2 Onions, peeled
1/2 c Red lentils (*)
7 oz Sour cherries,
-or more (*)
2 c Chicken or meat
4 tb Butter, unsalted,
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
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
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
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
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