Pilafs are common in Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and East African cuisines. Unlike risotto, it is not as creamy. In fact, it is a bit drier but sometimes fluffy. There are different variations of it depending on where it is prepared.
As for mussels, I often eat it baked, in soups or paella until I found this interesting recipe. It has a Mediterranean feel and taste to it because of the spices. In fact if you are a fan of five-spice you can add some as well, but if you do not like cinnamon or the star anise after taste from the five-spice I think bay leaves are a good substitute.
The lemons help remove the fishy taste, but you can do without it if desired. Ginger or ginger powder may be added to the other spices for this purpose.Â For aesthetic reasons it is nice to keep the shells on, but for this recipe we decided to remove them.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups basmati rice
2 cups chicken stock
1kg mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded and shells removed
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon slices for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. SautÃ© the onion, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon sticks for 5 minutes, until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Season it with salt and pepper.
Put the rice in the pan and stir. Cook it for 1-2 minutes until the rice is coated in the spice and garlic-onion mixture. Pour in the chicken stock and increase the heat to high. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook it for another 8-10 minutes. Once the rice is almost cooked, add the mussels and the peas. Mix well. Season it with salt and pepper to adjust the taste. Cover and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the rice is soft. Turn off the heat.
Let the pilaf stand for 5 minutes. Keep it covered the whole time. After, stir in the chopped parsley. Divide the mussel pilaf into individual plates and serve warm with lemon slices.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â Â topsyntages.gr