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PEAS PILAU
serves 4.

2 T. butter or ghee
1 hot green chili or 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 t. finely chopped ginger
4 cardamon pods
4 whole cloves
1 stick whole cinnamon, broken into several pieces
1 c white rice
1 c fresh (or frozen) peas
1/4 t turmeric powder, optional
2 1/4 c. water
1 t. salt (optional)

Melt the butter in a large pot over a low flame. Add the pepper,
onion, ginger, and whole spices. Heat and stir continually for
several min. Add the rice and continue stirring so the rice gets
coated with the butter and spices. (I like to saute' the rice long
enough that most of it turns a dull white color and even begins to
brown a bit.) Add the peas, the water and the salt and stir. If
a yellow color is desired, add the turmeric. Bring to a boil, then
lower the heat again, cover the pot, and simmer about 20 min. until
the water has been absorbed and the rice is soft and fluffy. If
you use canned peas, drain them and add them during the last few
minutes of cooking. Serve with the whole spices left in, but warn
your guests not to chomp on them.

Variation: Add or substitute diced carrots, cauliflower, red &
yellow bell peppers, and/or nuts (pine nuts, pieces of cashews or
almonds or pistachios).

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