Monday, 28 December 2009

multicoloured carrot pilaf

After a few days of holiday food, it's nice to get back to normal food. This is simple and easy and homey, but not at all boring. You can easily double or triple the recipe for potlucks or to have leftovers for lunches. The fancy-pants carrots and easygoing spices make it great for bringing to shared food-ish events. It's also the perfect break from rich foods after the crazyness of Christmas and before the impending culinary lunacy of Hogmanay. And I love multicoloured carrots! The ones here are orange ringed with purple. So fun!

Multicoloured carrot pilaf

3/4 cup brown basmati rice
1/2 cup puy lentils (dry measure), cooked and drained (about 3/4 cup cooked)
1 tbs cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods, crushed,
1 red onion, in half-moons
1/2 tsp smoked salt
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup currants
1/3 tsp cinnamon
2 multicoloured carrots, in thin rounds
black pepper to taste
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped parsley (optional)

Cook rice separately, as usual. Let cool a little bit. Heat up a pan and throw the cumin in. When it smells amazing, add the onions ,bay leaf and cardamom, and saute over low heat until the onions are (I did them in a bit of white wine). Add everything else up to the cinnamon and cook until combined. It should be dry, but not sticky. Add a splash of water or wine if it starts sticking to the pan. Add carrots and cover for a minute or two. You want them to steam, but not get mushy. When the carrots are ready, add lemon juice, pepper, and parsely and stir. Serve immediately. This is also really good as a cold salad, in which case I would garnish it with fresh pomegranate seeds. I served this with roasted okra (in pomegranite molasses and lemon vinegar).

homey, chill, and interesting music: the dubliners, played nice and quiet so that you can sing along without shouting and dance along while you cook in a peaceful candlelit kitchen.

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