Shirin Plov (Azerbaijani rice pilaf with dried apricots, raisins, and prunes)
recipe under the cut!
- 2 cups dried basmati rice
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter or non-dairy margarine
- large pinch of high-quality saffron
- 3 tbsp salt
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup prunes
- a few flour tortillas (as a substitute for qazmaq, for frying)
for the rice:
1. rinse the rice several times in cold water until the water comes out mostly clear–this will get rid of excess starch and prevent the rice from sticking.
2. dissolve a few teaspoons of salt in enough water to cover the rice and soak the rice for at least a few hours, or overnight.
3. strain rice and cook according to package directions, then rinse to get rid of excess salt.
for the dried fruit:
1. melt 3 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons of water in a pan over medium heat. add the raisins, apricots, and prunes. cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes until the fruit becomes a bit plumper.
for the saffron infusion:
1. place a large pinch of saffron in the bottom of a small glass. pour 2 tablespoons of just-boiled water over the saffron and let soak for a few minutes until the water turns orange.
to prepare the pilaf:
1. mix the dried fruit into the rice, leaving some aside to top the dish with.
2. melt a cup of butter. place about ¼ of the rice into a large pot and spread it into an even layer, then drizzle ¼ cup of butter over it. repeat three times with the rest of the rice and butter, then top with the saffron infusion.
3. poke some holes in the surface of the rice with a chopstick or the handle of a spoon to vent. cover and cook on low heat for an hour.
1. plate the pilaf in a large dish and top with the remaining fruit.
2. cut out flour tortillas into shapes as desired (triangles are popular) and fry them in a lightly oiled pain over medium heat, flipping once, until golden brown. use tortillas for topping and keep more on the side, for serving.