|1¼ kilograms||Mussels; (3lb)|
|450 millilitres||Water; ( 3/4)|
|1 small||Onion; chopped|
|2 tablespoons||Olive oil|
|250 grams||Basmati or long grain rice; soaked for 30|
|; minutes (8oz)|
|6 tablespoons||Olive oil|
|1||Medium-sized onion; finely sliced|
|2||Cloves garlic; crushed (2 to 3)|
|1||Fresh green chilli; or a dried red one,|
|; de-seeded and|
|300 millilitres||Mussel stock; strained ( 1/2|
|2||Pinches saffron; soaked in three|
|; tablespoons of hot|
|; mussel liquid for|
|; 10 mins|
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|A sprig of fresh dill; to garnish|
FOR THE PILAU
Scrape the mussels, removing any barnacles and the beards.
Place them in a sink full of water, let the grit sink and lift them out by hand; repeat this several times until the water appears clear.
Bring the 450ml (3/4pint) water, chopped onion and oil to the boil in a large saucepan.
Add the mussels, cover and cook briskly for 2-3 minutes until the shells open, shaking the pan occasionally.
Take the mussels out with a slotted spoon and let the liquid in the saucepan settle for 5 minutes, in case of grit, before you strain and measure it.
In the meantime, discard any unopened mussels, and take the rest out of their shells, apart from a dozen or so for decoration.
Drain the rice. Bring to the boil about 900ml (1 1/2pints) water with a little salt in a pan, add the drained rice and cook briskly for 4 minutes; the rice should still be hard.
Strain rice immediately, rinse with cold water, and reserve.
Heat the oil and brown the onion in a large frying pan; add the garlic and chilli and saute together for 1 minute.
Add the measured mussel stock, the saffron liquid, seasoning and all the mussels. Bring to the boil then add the rice.
Reduce heat and cook gently for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Garnish with a sprig of dill.
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