About this Custom Cook
Adapted and reprinted with permission from “In Bibi’s Kitchen” by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
This rice dish is emblematic of all the recipes in this book—the story of the spice trade along the Indian Ocean, the story of Arab settlers in East Africa, and the story of inexpensive ingredients turned into something with so much flavor. Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of mainland Tanzania, is home to about a million people. It sits at the heart of the trade routes between East Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, and the cooking in Zanzibar reflects this incredible mix of cultures. The name pilau, just like the term pilaf, derives from the Persian term polow, which is rice mixed with things like spices, nuts, and meat. This dish is also very similar to Bariis (Basmati Rice Pilaf with Raisins but is made with coconut milk and without tomato or raisins. If you are vegan, feel free to substitute coconut oil or olive oil for the butter.
2 cups long-grained white rice (preferably basmati)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or ghee)
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
10 green cardamom pods
Two 2-inch pieces cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1. Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cold tap water, stirring the rice gently with your hands, until the water runs clear through it, about a minute of rinsing and stirring. Drain rice well.
2. Meanwhile, place the butter in Chef’s Pan, slide it uncovered onto the top shelf of the Brava, and press the green button.
3. Once the butter has melted, carefully remove the Chef’s Pan, and add the onion.
4. Return the uncovered Chef’s Pan onto the top shelf of the Brava, and press the green button.
5. Once Brava notifies you, carefully remove the Chef’s Pan, and add the cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.
6. Return the uncovered Chef’s Pan onto the top shelf of the Brava, and press the green button.
7. Once Brava notifies you, carefully remove Chef’s Pan and stir in the rice, coconut milk, water, and salt. Cover it with the lid.
8. Return the Chef’s Pan, covered, onto the top shelf of the Brava, and press the green button to finish cooking.
9. When Brava notifies you, carefully remove Chef’s Pan followed by the lid.
10. Remove and discard the cinnamon and cardamom (if you can find them, they tend to hide — if you can’t find them, just warn your guests). Fluff rice with fork. Serve the rice immediately while it’s hot. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheated in the Brava.