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)
a pinch of brown sugar
60g honey (or light brown sugar)
1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
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!
Om nom nom!
*Not exactly health food, but you won't be having it everyday, will you?