By popular demand, this is the highly seasoned rice pilaf recipe (AKA Spanish Rice) that I often bring to potlucks. This is the basic recipe, and there is endless potential for variation. The flavor varies a lot depending on which curry you use, and the picante level of the salsa. I strongly recommend that you start with a mild salsa and mild curry the first time you try this recipe, then season to taste.
In a small rice cooker (standard 10 cup), add the following items:
1.5 cup parboiled Pakistani long grain rice (Substitution: you can use standard medium grain rice, or rice that is not parboiled, but the texture will be different.)
3 cups water
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (Substitution: or coconut oil, or margarine.)
3/4 teaspoon MILD curry of your choice (I used Shan brand “Meat and Vegetable Curry” this time. Substitution: add 1 tablespoon coriander, OR, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, OR 1 teaspoon turmeric.)
3 Cilantro MiniCubos Knorr brand (Substitution: or 1.5 tablespoons bullion powder)
3 tablespoons MILD salsa (Use up to 6 tablespoons salsa for stronger flavor. Substitution: 6 to 8 tablespoons spaghetti sauce.)
4 tablespoons unsweetened tart pomegranate juice (Substitution: or 2 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 heaping tablespoon garlic puree (about 1.5 level tablespoons, more or less to taste.)
1 heaping tablespoon ginger puree (about 1.5 level tablespoons, more or less to taste.)
1 handful (~1/4 cup) almond slivers
1 handful (~1/4 cup) raisins
Stir liquid to distribute seasonings. Push the start button and the rice cooker will do the rest. After the rice cooker finishes and while still hot, thoroughly toss the rice to mix all ingredients and flavors.
Sometimes I will also add 1/3 cup of some dried herb, such as dill, basil, or mint at the start of cooking. It is also good with your favorite sliced or diced vegetable added in the last five minutes of cooking, such as a heaping cup of shredded carrots or shredded broccoli stalk, shredded cabbage or fennel bulb, or canned mushrooms or garbanzo beans. Add vegetables to the top of the cooking rice and cover for an additional 5 or 10 minutes to allow them to steam. When done steaming and while still hot, thoroughly toss the rice to mix vegetables, rice and all flavors. Or you can serve the steamed vegetables on the side.