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STEW: Cut onion in half lengthwise. Cut into slivers, making 8 to 10 lengthwise slices, rotating from center of each half. Fry onion in hot oil over medium-high heat until softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add lamb and cook, stirring and turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add turmeric, salt, pepper and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until meat is falling off bone, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove bones and set aside. LENTILS AND FRUIT GARNISH: Boil lentils in water to cover by 1 inch until nearly done, about 20 minutes. Drain. Heat oil in skillet over high heat. When hot, add dates and raisins and stir 15 seconds. Remove from heat. Set aside. PILAF: Wash rice and soak in lightly salted water to cover 8 hours or overnight. Bring 8 cups water to boil. Drain rice, add to boiling water, then cook until nearly done but still firm to the bite in center, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain. Put oil in bottom of pot. Sprinkle 1/2 rice over bottom to create mound. Ladle 1/2 Stew onto rice. Sprinkle 1/3 of remaining rice over Stew and ladle most of Lentils onto rice. Sprinkle 1/2 of remaining rice over Lentils and cover with most of Fruit Garnish. Cover with remaining rice and top with remaining Lentils and Fruit Garnish. Push 4 holes through rice to bottom of pan with handle of wooden spoon. Divide butter into 4 pieces and insert 1 piece in each hole. Add 2 tablespoons water to bottom of pot. Cook over high heat 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. To serve, spoon Pilaf onto plates and garnish with reserved Stew, warmed. Yields 6 to 8 servings. Each of 6 servings: 559 calories; 218 mg sodium; 50 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 79 grams carbohydrates; 22 grams protein; 2.44 grams fiber Recipe Source: Los Angeles Times - 03-24-1999 Formatted for Mastercook by Lynn Thomas - Lynn_Thomas@prodigy.net
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