Azerbaijan Pilaff

This pilaff from Azerbaijan is delicately flavoured with sesatne seeds and a little ginger. It makes an excellent accompani-ment to roast chicken, roast lamb or a curry.

4 SERVINGS

2 oz. butter

10 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked for

30 minutes in water and drained

2 teaspoon ground ginger

12 teaspoons sesame seeds pint chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. slivered, toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Melt the butter in a flameproof casserole dish over moderate heat. Add the rice and cook for 10 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the ginger and sesame seeds and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

Put the casserole in the oven uncovered for 35 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Toss the rice with a fork after 10 minutes and again after 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve immediately.

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