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Basmati Rice Pilaf with Pistachios


Serves six to eight.

Yields about 6 cups.

  • Make the menu:
    A Passage to India
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 90

  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 1/2 Tbs. coriander seeds, lightly smashed
  • 12 whole green cardamom pods
  • 3-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2-3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt, and sauté for 2 minutes; add the coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaf to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and turning brown, 1 to 3 minutes more. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is well coated with oil and slightly translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cardamom pods.

Season to taste with salt if necessary. When ready to serve, sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings, Calories (kcal): 290, Fat (kcal): 10, Fat Calories (g): 90, Saturated Fat (g): 1, Protein (g): 8, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5, Carbohydrates (mg): 46, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3, Sodium (g): 100, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

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