Bukharian Slow-Cooked Rice with Dried Fruit
Recipe and photo from Silk Road Vegetarian by Dahlia Abraham Klein (Tuttle)
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 12 hours
This flavorful rice dish is a modern take on traditional Bukharian Sabbath rice. The recipe, which is from Silk Road Vegetarian by Dahlia Abraham-Klein (Tuttle), was a weekly favorite in Abraham-Klein’s home when she was a child. Her adaptation calls for a slow cooker, which is a perfect solution for the Sabbath.
1 cup (200 grams) dried red kidney beans
2 cups (450 grams) brown basmati rice
½ cup oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, cut into ¼-inch cubes
3 large tomatoes, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 sweet potato, peeled and quartered
5 pitted prunes, chopped
5 dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
7 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
- Soak the dried kidney beans according to the instructions below.
- Wash and soak the rice according to the instructions below.
- When you are ready to cook, add the beans, rice, oil, onion, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, apples, sweet potato, prunes, apricots, raisins, turmeric, and ginger to the slow cooker and cover with the water.
- Turn the slow cooker to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for at least 4 hours, and up to 12 hours. Periodically check the pot to make sure that the water has not dried up. If it has, add ½ cup at a time. Cooking time is very forgiving; the longer it cooks, the more the flavors meld. Season with salt at the end.
- Spoon onto a large platter and top with the crust from the bottom of the pot, if you can. Serve hot.
Basic Methods for Cooking Beans and Chickpeas:
- Pick through the dried beans, discarding any discolored or shriveled ones or any foreign matter. Wash the beans in a strainer under cold running water, and drain.
- To soak, place the beans in a bowl of fresh cold water. A good rule of thumb is to add three cups water to each cup of dried beans. The liquid should be about 1 to 2 inches above the top of the legumes, and the bowl should be big enough so that the beans can expand a bit. Soak for 12 hours or overnight. [Note: If you are short on time, you can use the quick-soak method instead of the long soaking process. First cook the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes; then remove the pot from the heat. Cover and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse.]
Washing and Soaking Rice:
Rice should be washed and soaked before you cook it. Soaking is actually part of the cooking process; it softens the rice and allows the water to penetrate the grains. This prevents sticking and reduces cooking time. It also produces rice with a lovely, light texture, and releases enzymes that make it easier for us to absorb all the nutritional goodness in the rice. Soaking: Once the rice is washed, it’s time to soak. With the rice in the bowl, add enough warm water so that the rice is submerged by about an inch. Use the following soaking times unless directed otherwise in the recipe.
- Long-grain brown rice should be soaked for 2 hours.
- Short-grain brown rice should be soaked for 4 hours.
- Long-grain white rice should be soaked for 30 minutes.
- Short-grain white rice should be soaked for 20 minutes.