Going back to Karachi always does this to me. It's almost traumatic- especially the return. Not so much because I miss my family- indeed three weeks of pure wedding can be a family dose large enough to last a long while- no, it's more like a massive drain of energy so that I come back virtually juiced out. That faced with the husband travelling a bit too often for work, start of school for Sara and the blustery weather that I didn't quite know what to make of. So come evening, I would crash in front of the telly with my dinner while the wind howled through the trees outside.
We have had a steady harvest of tomatoes and aubergines. The first few tomatoes off the vine had Blossom End Rot but just like last year the second batch of tomatoes seems to have corrected the problem. Peppers have been a miserable failure. However, with our gorgeous harvest, we have made a delicious Grilled Veg Soup and Green Pancakes with Lime Butter from Ottolenghi's Plenty and an amazingly simple Mediterreanean Fish Bake. The bees have been doing their work on the cucumbers and there's some peas coming in now and radishes too. All in all, a lot to be grateful for and a lot to take pleasure in.
By the way, I tried to do a post about each and every one of these dishes but obviously I am still at the Food Photography for Idiots stage. Each afternoon, I ran like a headless chicken between kitchen and dining table, fingers greasy, things burning and wilting as I tried to capture too many details. In the end, by the time, the final dish was made, it was too dark and the girls wanted their dinner. However, I must say that the introductory photography course I did end of last year with Gulf Photo Plus and a workshop I attended with fellow food bloggers at the Fatafeat studio has done a lot to make me comfortable with my camera. But not brave enough to venture into the realms of reflectors and diffusers and the fully manual mode...
Today, we made a Persian Dill and Broad Bean Pilaf along with a fresh cucumber and radish garden salad. It was a perfectly light yet satisfying lunch. And although, the girls probably found the dill flavour to be unusual and a bit too complex, they managed to hoover the Pilaf up, bless them!
Persian Dill and Broad Bean Pilaf
11/2 cup basmati rice, soaked for an hour
1 cup frozen broad beans
1 cup chopped fresh dill
4 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
1- Bringe a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add rice and salt and cook until almost three quarters cooked.
2- Drain and rinse with cold water.
3- Dunk broad beans in some hot water for a minute. Rinse with cold water and shell them.
4- Wipe the pot and melt 2 tbsp of the butter in it.
5- Add a layer of rice and then a layer of broad beans and dill.
6- Alternate layers until all the rice, beans and herbs have been used up, ending with a layer of rice.
7- Make a few holes in the final layer with your finger and drop the remaining butter into these.
8- Wrap a tea tower around the lid of pot and place it so that no steam escapes.
9- Cook the rice on high heat for 5-7 minutes until steam forms and then turn it down to the lowest setting and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
10- Turn off heat. Let rice rest for 5 minutes. Fluff up with fork and serve warm.