Recipes with Cardamom: Basmati Rice Pilaf

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The complex yet delicate flavor of cardamom turns Roast Pork with Pears and Basmati Rice Pilaf into a feast.

Serves 4 to 6

If black cardamom pods aren’t available, substitute the seeds of six green or white pods or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom. Use homemade chicken stock if possible.

• 2 cups basmati rice
• 1/3 cup raisins
• 4 cups chicken stock
• 2 tablespoon butter
• 2 cups chopped onions
• 1/4 cup chopped, shelled green
•  Pistachio nuts
• 4 black cardamom pods
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 to 3 teaspoons sugar
• Salt to taste

1. Place the rice in a large sieve, remove any stones or other debris, and rinse it well with water. Set aside to drain.

2. Soak the raisins in the stock.

3. Melt the butter in a large skillet fitted with a lid. Add the onions and sauté over moderate heat until they are transparent. Add the nuts and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Add the spices and sauté for about 1 minute, then add the drained rice. Heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until most of the adhering water has evaporated.

4. Add the sugar, raisins, and stock. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all liquid has been ­absorbed. Add salt to taste. Serve ­immediately.


Cornelia Carlson exercises her passion for growing tropical spices in her San Diego-area home. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is the author of The Practically Meatless Gourmet (Prima, 1996).

Click here for the original article, Recipes with Cardamom.

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