Alebalu Pollow – Rice with Cherries
Written and photographed by Tamar Weir and Irit Weir
2-3 cups of rice. Two cups will be enough for 6 people
Fresh cherries – do not ask me how much – let’s say two cups, keeping in mind that cherries shrink when you cook them
½ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 stick of butter
2-3 potatoes to peel and cut around in diameter of 1 cm
Saffron (put in 5 tablespoons of hot water or more for few minutes)
To prepare the cherries:
Remove pit from cherries and chop to quarters – cook with half cup of sugar. Then add a teaspoon of rose water. Cook for up to half an hour. Next, strain and keep the juice. Add a teaspoon of butter and cinnamon to the cherry mix.
To decorate with:
Thin almonds and pistachio sauté in butter for a few minutes.
Wash your basmati rice and strain – cook and boil in water and salt that covers the rice. Cook
the rice halfway. Strain.
In a Teflon pot, arrange the potato slices and cover the bottom of the pot. Make sure there is enough olive oil so that the potatoes do not stick. Sauté for 7 minutes. Do not turn or burn.
Sprinkle half a teaspoon of turmeric on top of the potatoes and then 3 full table
spoons of the semi-cooked rice. Then push it in the space in between the potatoes and sauté for another few minutes. Add another layer of rice on top and arrange the cherry mix in another layer. Then add the remaining rice. When it is warm, add the saffron mix with water on the top and cover with a towel. Let cook for another twenty minutes to a half hour. You might need to add more water to the saffron for a brighter color. The rice should be cooked on steam at this point. When ready add half a stick of butter to the rice and the cherry juice, and sprinkle almonds and pistachios on top.