Turkish Rice Pilaf with Eggplant and Pistachios

(5 votes)

1 pound eggplant (2 or 3 small, 1 medium)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup rice, preferably basmati (or some other aromatic, long-grain rice)
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 tablespoon fresh dill)
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole tomato, peeled and chopped, or 7 to 8 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
16 to 19 ounces canned chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled

Trim and discard stem end of eggplant. Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes and place the cubes in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt, tossing the eggplant to coat it evenly with the salt. Set in a sink to drain.

Put the rice in a large bowl and fill the bowl with water. Swish the rice around and drain it. Repeat several times until the water runs clear. Cover the rice with water and set aside.

Chop the onion into 1/2-inch dice. Combine in a large saucepan with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened.

Rinse eggplant well with running water and press it firmly in a cloth towel to squeeze out excess moisture and dry it well. Add it to the pan and increase heat to high.

Cook eggplant and onions together, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Drain the rice and add it to the pan. Chop raisins a little (don't be too obsessive about it) and add them to the pan with 1 1/2 cups water, cinnamon, dill and 1 teaspoon salt. Put the top on the pan, lower heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, peel and core tomato, then chop into 1/2-inch dice.

Five minutes before the rice is cooked through, add tomato and chickpeas and stir gently to combine. When the rice is done and the dish is heated, spoon into a serving bowl or onto individual plates. Top with pistachio nuts.

Makes 2 to 4 servings as a main dish, 6 servings as a side dish.


Comments:

It's very tasty and exotic at the same time
Delia, Sf.Gheorghe

Thanks for the recipe, I cooked this with some balti spices and brown rice and it was delightful.
Jo, London


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