The sun started flooding our apartments about two weeks ago, causing everyone in LA to spend the weekend outside. Two weekends ago, we spent time in Malibu, enjoying lunch on the pier at the delicious Malibu Farm where we sipped on a refreshing mint lemonade while enjoying cauliflower pizza. Last weekend we had friends from NYC visiting and we took them out to Oak Glen so they could get their engagement photos taken in the wheat fields at golden hour. The next day we made our way towards San Diego for a fun brewery tour (featured post coming up).
The weather cooled down again this weekend and skies started turning grey, which was the perfect excuse to stay in, organize my home and cook for the week. I’ve been making more chicken lately and though I love topping my chiken with thyme and rosemary, I also love a good smoked flavor (here, I use Costco’s Sweet Mesquite Seasoning). The smokey flavor really complimented the rice pilaf and was exactly the comfort food I needed.
For 6 people
500g of basmati rice
1 piece of fresh ginger (8cm)
4 tbsp. of vegetable oil
4 tbsp. of sliced almonds
4 tbsp. of golden raisins
2 onions, minced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp. of cardamom
2 tbsp. of cumin
1 tsp. of sugar
10 saffron threads, dipped in 1 tbsp of warm milk
2 bay leaves
25cl of almond milk
2 tbsp. of rose water
Salt and pepper
Rince the rice until the water comes out clear. Place in a pot, cover in water and let set for 30 minutes.
Grate the ginger, and squeeze out the juice using a spoon. Try to get about 1 tbsp. of juice.
Heat up the oil in a large, deep skillet and then toss the almonds and raisins and let them grill on low heat till golden. Add the chopped onions, toss and set everything aside in a small bowl.
In the same skillet, add the rice, the cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cumin, ginger juice, sugar, a pinch of salt and saffron. Mix well and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the bay leaves and the almond milk, then add enough water to cover the rice. Turn up the heat. Once the liquid is boiling, lower the heat to medium and let the rice cook for 8 minutes until all of the liquid has evaporated.
Lower the heat to the minimum then add half of the almonds, raisins and ginger mixture. Splash rose water (optional).
Add the rest of the almond, raisin and ginger when you are ready to serve.