Here is a recipe that is not only simple, but the smoky flavor is immediately noticeable. You can substitute any type of whole grain for the rice and it will still be considered a true Pilaf. Try barley, millet, quinoa, spelt or even wheat berries. I take my culinary cue from the Iranian Biryani, as I often add a variety of vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, peas and asparagus. Biryani is more highly spiced than I care for, but making Pilaf more hearty but these additions helps keep my waistline down a size or two.
Any type of whole grain may be used to make pilaf, though rice is probably the most commonly used. Most recipes start with a similar process. The grain (usually dried) is sautéed in oil, fat or butter to brown it slightly. To provide full cooking, liquids like broth are added, which add incredible flavor to the dish. Depending upon recipe, a variety of vegetables and meat may be added too, so you can create much more than a side dish with pilaf; it can be a whole and filling meal instead. A number of dishes take their cue from pilaf. Jambalaya and paella are variants. Fried rice in Asian cuisines is somewhat similar. Risotto is another dish that can be directly tied to this the early Persian dish.
For 4 people
- 1/4 lb(s) chorizo, sliced thin
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup(s) basmati rice
- 2 cup(s) chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon(s) black pepper
- 2 teaspoon(s) cumin
Chorizo Pilaf Directions
- Spray a saucepan with oil and place on a medium heat. Fry the chorizo until browned and then set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- There should be enough oil in the saucepan to fry the onion but if there isn’t add some more. Fry the onion for two minutes and then add the cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin and paprika. Fry for another minute or until soft.
- Add the rice and stir until coated with the spicy onion mixture. Return the chorizo to the saucepan and add the stock.
- Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (or as long as the rice requires).