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Pistachio Pilaff

ingredients

serves 4
3 onions
60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5 cm (1 in) piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 green chilli, chopped
2 carrots, coarsely grated
225 g (8 oz) generous 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) saffron strands, crushed
450 ml (3/4 pint) 1 7/8 cups stock
5 cm (2 in) cinnamon stick
5 ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
salt and ground black pepper
75 g (3 oz) 1/4 cup fresh pistachios
450 g (1 lb) fresh leaf spinach
5 ml (1 tsp) garam masala
tomato salad, to serve

method

1. Roughly chop two of the onions. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion with half the garlic, the ginger and the chilli for 5 minutes until softened.

2. Mix in the carrots and rice, cook for 1 more minute and then add the saffron, stock, cinnamon and coriander. Season well. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.
Remove from the heat and leave to stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the pistachios, mixing them in with a fork. Remove the cinnamon stick and keep the rice warm.

3. Thinly slice the third onion and fry in the remaining oil for about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the garam masala powder. Cook until just tender, then drain and roughly chop the spinach. Spoon the spinach round the edge of a round serving dish and pile the pilaff in the centre. Serve immediately with a tomato salad.

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