Mussel pilau

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
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
; chopped
300 millilitres Mussel stock; strained ( 1/2
; pint)
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

GENERAL

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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