Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Ermeni Pilavi (Armenian Rice with Pumpkin)

As you can probably guess from the title, I'm still mucking around with Middle Eastern food.
This is quite an unusual rice dish of Armenian origin, sweet & fruity & caramelised, more like a dessert than a savoury dish. It takes a little bit of time to prepare, but it is a delicious winter warmer of a dish, and well worth the effort. The Pilavi in the name hints to the method of cooking the rice, where the rice is browned in butter before water is added & the rice is steamed until cooked & fluffy. If your attempts to make rice end up with something soggy & disappointing, pilau or pilav rice will never let you down!

225g rice (preferably basmati)
675g pumpkin flesh, thinly sliced (you can use roasted pumpkin, which is delicious, or if you have a raw pumpkin, peel, deseed, slice & steam or parboil for 5-7 minutes)
1 tbs sultanas, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbs clarified butter or ghee (regular butter also works)
600ml water
a pinch of brown sugar
60g honey (or light brown sugar)
1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
90g butter
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/G6.
Wash the rice & drain. Soften the onions in the clarified butter in a pan. Stir in the rice, garlic & sultanas. Add the water, a pinch of salt & pepper, then bring to the boil & simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat & leave to steam
In a bowl, combine the honey & spices. If your honey is quite thick, warm it for a few seconds in the microwave to get it runnier. Grease an oven-proof dish and sprinkle with a little brown sugar, then arrange half of the pumpkin slices in a layer. Melt the butter in a pan & pour half over the pumpkins. Drizzle half the spiced honey mixture over the top* of all that. Spoon the rice over the top, spreading it out in an even layer. Arrange the remaining slices of pumpkin over the rice & press down firmly. Pour the last of the butter & spiced honey over the top & bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pumpkin is meltingly tender & caramelised on top.
Serve with grilled vegetables & halloumi.

No picture today. We ate it all.
Om nom nom!

*Not exactly health food, but you won't be having it everyday, will you?

1 comment:

mangocheeks said...

I am liking the sound of this. My mother makes a tasty South Asian Sweet rice dish. Its been while I had some with raisins. This sounds really lovely. Even it it is served with the salted halloumi which I like also :)

PS I sent you two e mails, did you get them. I remember the last time you never received it until I resent it. I hope it has not got lost in cyber space again. Last e mail responded to you receiving the package.