*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                    Pilaf With Sour Cherries And Lentils
 Recipe By     : Stavros Macrakis Aiken Computation Laboratory, Harvard
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Pulses And Grains
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
  400      g             Basmati rice (*)
    2                    peeled onions (thinly sliced)
  100      g             red lentils (*)
  200      g             sour cherries (*)
  500      ml            chicken or meat broth (*)
   60      g             unsalted butter
                         turmeric, cumin, salt
 1.  In a 4-5 liter Dutch oven, melt most of the butter and slowly brown the
 onions.  Add the cleaned lentils and fry a bit; then the same for the
 cleaned rice.  Stir constantly, browning the rice without letting it stick.
 2.  Add the cherries and 550 ml liquid made up of cherry liquid, stock, and
 water. Add 1-5 ml turmeric and 1 ml ground cumin if desired; add necessary
 salt (depending on the saltiness of your broth).
 3.  Bring to a boil, stir with a fork, cover tightly, and let cook over the
 very lowest heat for about 20 mins.
 4.  Fluff up the rice with a fork (never a spoon) and add the remaining
 butter to the bottom of the pot.
 5.  Raise the heat slightly for 5-10 mins to form a crust on the bottom
 (with the right technique, this should be possible without this step...).
 6.  Serve, making sure to include a bit of crust in each serving.
 Author’s Notes:
     This Pilaf with sour cherries and lentils is a Persian-style dish,
 although I cannot vouch for its authenticity.  It is rich enough to eat for
 dinner by itself; as a side dish, it might be good with a spiced grilled
 chicken or a lamb stew.  It is a composite of recipes from cookbooks and
 from a Iranian Jewish family I know. Following the recipe are some important
 notes (*) on ingredients.
     An excellent side dish is yoghurt, possibly flavored (like the Indian
 raita) with one or more of: fresh chopped herbs (parsley, coriander, mint),
 some salt, some spice (paprika, black pepper, black onion seed, or coriander
 seed), olive oil, and lemon juice.  Even better than yoghurt as a base is
 strained yoghurt, also called Lebany Spread or Lebanee, available
 commercially in New England from Columbo or Anoosh (look in
 Armenian/Arab/Greek stores). Basmati or Patna rice is a particularly
 flavorful and long-grained rice from India or Pakistan.  Any Indian store
 and many ``natural foods'' stores carry it.  It is well worth the premium
 price (about $1.10 a pound); ``Texmati'' is apparently the same strain grown
 in Texas, but does not have anything like the same taste.  Inspect and clean
 it before using - there are often unhusked grains and occasionally pebbles
 mixed in.  Then rinse in two changes of water and drain thoroughly.  If you
 cannot get Basmati, use a good-quality unconverted long-grain rice (Alma,
 Carolina, but NOT Uncle Ben’s!). Red lentils are about half the diameter of
 ordinary brown lentils.  Do not substitute brown lentils, which will
 probably not cook fast enough.  Red lentils are available in Indian, Middle
 Eastern, and some ``natural foods'' stores.  They often contain largish
 pebbles, so inspect them carefully.  Rinse to get rid of dust, and drain.
 Red lentils are also very good by themselves, simply boiled with a few
 spices and served with butter. Sour cherries (in the Middle East, v/w + i +
 s/sh + n + e/a/ino: Greek Vissino, Slavic and Turkish Vishne/a, Arabic
 Wishna) are available fresh for about one week a year.  Most sour cherries
 go into cherry syrups, pies, and preserves.  Canned sour cherries are quite
 good. You will usually find them in the home pie-making section of your
 market, near the canned blueberries and baker’s supplies, or with the canned
 fruits.  There are occasional stones.  (That is, pits, not rocks!)  Middle
 Eastern stores will often have sour cherry preserves, which are too sweet
 for this recipe. Almost any stock or broth will work in this recipe.
 Chicken or lamb is most appropriate - in the latter case, used rather
 dilute.  This is one of the few recipes where you can actually get away with
 canned chicken broth - but watch the salt.
 Difficulty    : easy to moderate.
 Precision     : approximate measurement OK.
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