Almond Apricot Basmati Rice

Submitted by Judy on Sat, 09/15/2007 - 1:15pm.

from "A Feast from the Mideast" by Faye Levy
as seen in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
story by Judy Bart Kancigor

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

8 to 12 whole dried apricots, plus 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 1/2 cups white basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups hot water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup slivered or whole blanched almonds, toasted

  1. Put whole apricots in bowl and cover with water. Leave them to soak while rice cooks.
  2. To cook rice, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook over low heat for seven minutes, or until soft but not brown, stirring occasionally. Add rice, diced apricots, 2 1/2 cups hot water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook over low heat, without stirring, for 18 minutes, or until rice is just tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Cover rice and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, transfer apricot soaking liquid to very small saucepan. Add sugar and stir to blend. Cut the whole apricots in two if they are large and add to saucepan. Add enough water to barely cover the apricots. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for three minutes, or until apricots are just tender.
  4. Fluff rice very gently with a fork. Mound on a platter and garnish with toasted almonds. Remove poached apricots from liquid with a slotted spoon and set them on rice. Serve hot.