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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saffron Rice with Meat Dressing الرز بالزعفران

We usually decorate rice with sautéed almonds and raisins for special occasions. The meat dressing follows the recipe.

¼ cup vegetable oil
2 cups basmati long grain rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch of saffron threads or powder
4 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons rosewater (optional)

Pre wash the rice and strain it in a colander.
Heat oil in a pot, and sauté rice for one minute. Add salt , saffron and cardamom and pour the water. Bring it to boil. When the water is almost absorbed lower the heat, add rose water and leave it to steam for 20 minutes. Stir it and serve it on a plate. Decorate with almonds and raisins.

Meat Dressing
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 pound ground lamb or ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup blanched almonds or pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a deep pan, sauté the meat in oil and add the onions and stir for a few minutes until the meat is cooked. Add salt and spices.
In a pan, heat one tablespoon of oil and sauté the almonds. When almonds are toasted, add the raisins and sauté for one minutes and pour the mixture in a plate until ready to spread over the rice.