It is orange season and so all of our orange recipes come out to add delight to our kitchen menus again. This beautiful pilaf is so good – full of orangey flavours and a visual delight.
We made this recently in one of our late night COVID-19 lockdown cooking sessions, around 10pm after endless zoom meetings. Luckily the rice had been soaked and dried, so the cooking was not a chore. There are no photos for this recipe yet – almost a travesty in this visual era. But we wanted to share it with you and keep it on our blog as a record of our best loved dishes.
Narangi Pulao with Pistachios
1.5 cups rice (long grained rice is good for this dish, but medium grained rice is also Ok)
3 Tblspn ghee
3 green cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 Indian bay leaf
1 onion, finely diced
2 Tblspn barberries (optional, see note under garnish)
3 Tblspn pistachio nuts
segments of orange (if desired)
pomegranate kernels (if not using barberries)
Soak the rice for 2 hours in plenty of water, then drain and spread out on a tray to dry for another hour.
Peel the zest from the orange into long strips using a potato peeler, and then juice the orange.
Melt the ghee in a wide pan that has a lid. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and bay leaf and saute until aromatic. Remove the spices without removing the ghee from the pan, and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and saute until tender and just browning. Now add the soaked and dried rice, and saute for a minute to coat with the oil and mix with the onions. Add sufficient water to cover by 1.5 – 2 cm, about 2 – 2.25 cups. Add salt to taste, barberries if using, the sauteed spices and the orange peel. Mix well.
Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 10 mins. WITHOUT REMOVING THE LID, turn off the heat and leave for another 12 -15 mins.
While the rice is cooking, dry roast the pistachios and set aside.
Remove the lid from the pan and fluff the rice, mixing through half of the pistachios and some of the pomegranate kernels (if using). Also mix through enough of the orange juice to moisten well without drowning the rice.
Serve with the remaining pistachios, orange segments and pomegranate kernels as garnish.
recipe notes and alternatives
4 – 6 strands of saffron can be added with the water.