Aside from being such a tasty dish, there is the added attraction that this pilaf is so easy to make too. While I often cook pilaf on the stovetop, this one went into the rice cooker. The flavor base was cooked on the stovetop, the rice was stirred in and then everything went into the rice cooker where broth was poured in directly. Oh, the convevience!
About the rice… I always use Basmati when I cook pilaf. Aged Basmati is especially good. It absorbs plenty of liquid without going soggy. And because long-grain rice is not as starchy as short-grain and medium-grain rice, even after soaking up a lot of liquid, the grains don’t stick together.
Is Basmati a must? No. Any long-grain rice will do. The starchiness of rice is inversely proportional to the length of the grain. Because pilaf is a fluffy rice dish, you need to use long-grain rice which is much less starchy than medium-grain and short-grain varieties. For more about rice varieties, see below.
Does pilaf have to be cooked in broth? Won’t plain water do? Well, pilaf, by definition, is rice cooked in stock or broth. If you cook your rice in water, you’ll have a rice dish but it won’t be pilaf.
Cranberry and pistachio pilaf
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.
- Saute the chopped shallots until softened and translucent.
- Toss in the dried cranberries, toasted pistachio and golden raisins and cook until everything is coated with oil.
- Add the rice. Cook, stirring, until every grain is glistening with oil.
- Transfer to the contents of the pan to the rice cooker.
- Pour in the bone broth, stir and taste. Add as much salt as needed for a well-rounded flavor.
- Stir in the pepper and turmeric.
- Cook the pilaf in the rice cooker until all the broth has been soaked up by the rice.
- Leave the cooked pilaf for five minutes then fluff with a fork.
- Ladle the cranberry and pistachio pilaf into bowls.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice over the rice.
- Arrange lemon wedges on the side and sprinkle with torn cilantro.
- Serve at once.