Pilaf is similar to risotto, in that rice soaks up a lot of liquid, but if risotto is a labor of love, requiring almost constant stirring, pilaf is for lovers of ease. Bring the ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer unattended until the liquid is absorbed. Long-grain rices such as basmati are more suited to the pilaf style, as a result. Using brown basmati gives this dish a nutty flavor, along with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This recipe would also be great with red rice - a nutty, chewy variety that yields a heartier, more rustic version.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
- 1/2 cup golden raisins*
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 28 ounces vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2. Add the water, tomato paste, salt, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Brown rice normally takes about 50 minutes in a 2:1 liquid-to-rice ratio, but because there is more liquid in this dish, plan on it taking longer than that.
3. Let stand for 5 minutes before discarding the cloves and cinnamon stick; sprinkle with the pistachios.
Make your pilaf the center of the meal, or a side dish to your favorite Gardein chicken.
*Choose a brand like International Harvest, which sells naturally golden hunza raisins, which aren't treated with sulfur dioxide.
10 servings (about 3/4 cup), Calories 205
Well darn, there's definite potential here, but I'd make a rather significant change next time. I really didn't like the tomato paste in combination with the cinnamon, clove, and golden raisin; next time I'd stick with the sweet elements of this dish, and save the tomato paste for a more savory pilaf. The nuttiness of the brown rice is also quite powerful, and I think I'd prefer it with white basmati, even though - I know, I know - it's not quite as nutritious. Make those tweaks and this will become a keeper.