Pilaf always begins with a grain – often rice. But the ingredients can vary: you can add dried fruits and sweet spice or vegetables and herbs. This version is bursting with flavour.
Herbed rice pilaf: Use 185g (6½oz) long-grain brown rice instead of jasmine rice. Sauté 1 chopped green pepper along with the rice and onion, and use 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme and 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary instead of the cardamom. Replace the sultanas, almonds and apricots with 40g (1½oz) chopped toasted pecan nuts.
Dried apricots are fat-free and full of nutrients that are good both for blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels, such as potassium, lycopene, beta-carotene and pectin. In addition, apricots are a rich source of iron. While the drying process removes apricots' store of vitamin C, many other nutrients are enhanced.