Wealth was measured by the variety of pilaf on the table in the Ottoman times. Once you learn the secrets about making a good pilaf. Then you can play around it as much as you want. Tomatoes is one of the basic ones.
All you have to do is replace equal amount of water with grated, fresh, tasty tomato. The ready, canned or jarred tomato somehow doesn’t work, I’ve tried and tested several times.
Goes well next to anything such as meat balls, chicken dishes or even plain.
I have posted tips about making a good pilaf in my Pilaf with Orzo post, please check there.
Put the rice in a pot and cover it with water. This must be done at least half an hour before cooking.
Thoroughly wash the rice, using a colander, until the water is no longer white below the filter. Be gentle with the rice, do not use a spoon or mix it with your hands while washing. Make sure all the water has dripped down.
Use a pot that is non-sticky, wide and not too high.
Add some olive oil, butter and orzo into the pan and stir and cook until the orzo changes color and gets brownish.
If you want to add a chicken tablet now is the correct time – make sure it dissolves thoroughly.
Add the rice and cook mixing it until the rice becomes to look shiny. Should take about 2-3 minutes.
Add the grated tomato and stir for a minute.
Add the hot water and stir only once and close the lid. You should not stir again until serving. You can use chicken stock instead of water and the chicken bullion.
Once the water boils lower the heat to minimum.
When the water is absorbed taste the rice. If the rice is not ready and still has a hard part in it; add 2-3 spoons of hot water.
If the pilaf is ready; close the heat and place a paper towel on the pilaf and cover the lid again wait for 5-10 minutes and serve after stirring once.