Golden Basmati Rice with Apricots

It is panic time, the gas stove is kaput, yet again, the gas man isn't answering my calls and the manufacturer is giving me the runaround (music: click on link before continuing). I have a pressing deadline for the London Guide for Expatriates. No presents are bought, no cards sent and it is soon Xmas. My head is in a mess and I can't find the picture for today's post, probably because it never existed and the dish was gulped even before the camera came out. I bet you one day this household will be in such a hurry to get tucked in the food that the camera might get eaten too. 
There is only one recipe for this kind of feeling and that is basmati rice.

I love this recipe with its crisp apple and soft apricots. It also contains saffron which is a curious ingredient we should talk about one day, when I am not in a panic :) but you can skip the saffron you will not the golden colour but the recipe will still be good.

Though it is based on a Persian dish, this takes me back to the rice paddies of Indonesia, to the endless bus trips picking sticky rice out of bamboo canes, to the smily faces and the warm sun on my face.

So need a bit of Zen in your life, try this out

Golden Basmati Rice with Apricots


serves 8 prep time 30 min Total time 1h30
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 6 dried apricots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground pepper

1.Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small bowl, crumble the saffron over the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.

2.In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, then add the rice and stir to coat. Add the stock, saffron and its soaking liquid and the salt and bring to a boil. Transfer the rice and liquid to a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender.

3.In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the scallions and cook over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Add the almonds and apricots and cook until the apricots start to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the apple and cook, stirring, just until warmed, about 1 minute. Stir the mixture into the rice, season with pepper and serve hot.

recipe from food& 

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