Sweet pilaf with cranberries, carrots and walnuts.

I love cranberries. They’re tasty and healthy. And simply amazing.

When I was a child, and I grew up in the Soviet Union during communistic dictatorship, my Dad got some American magazines in russian. They described American society, way of life, values, people, everything that could be suspicious for the regime. Western propaganda! I loved to leaf through the magazines. Many years passed since then, but there is something I still remember: CRANBERRIES!

There was an article about agriculture in the US or something like that. Don’t know exactly now. They showed cranberry fields and their harvest. Since then I love cranberries.

I like cranberries in desserts, main dishes, medicine or simply as a snack. I love to cook with them.

Today I want to show you my own recipe I like very much: a sweet pilaf with cranberries.

A pilaf is an oriental rice dish (or a wheat dish for some regions). There are many varieties with meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, spices etc.


You need:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • a glass of basmati (long-grain rice)
  • a handful dried cranberries
  • 3-5 walnuts
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of white sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • curcuma powder (turmeric) 1/4 teaspoon
  • cinnamon powder 1/3 teaspoon


How to cook:

1. Cut the onion in half-rings. Grate carrots finely. Soak cranberries in warm water (not hot!) for about 20 minutes. You don’t to have to do it, but after soaking they’re softer.

2. Fry onion half-rings in olive oil till they’re light golden.

Oops, they turned too golden.

3. Add carrots, sugar, cinnamon, stir and fry on low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add cranberries, stir and fry for 1-2 minutes like carrots above.

5. Break or cut walnuts in pieces you like. I cut them smaller. Add into the pan. Stir and add a bit of black pepper powder, salt (not much, only a little for taste, we wanna have our pilaf sweet) and curcuma. Stir good and fry for 3-4 minutes on the lowest heat till all the ingredients, except of walnuts, are soft. Take out of the pan and leave in a bowl besides.

6. So, we have still much oil in the pan and don’t want to waste it. Wash rice and add into the pan. Fry on the lowest heat stirring till the water from washing evaporates and the rice turn dry and change its colour to white.

Because of the oil it’s difficult to see on the photo, but the colour of the rice turns white during frying.

7. Add water into the pan. It doesn’t matter warm or cold. For 1 glass of rice add 2 glasses of water. Add a bit salt for taste. Cover and let it cook on the lowest heat till the water evaporates and the rice is ready.

8. Mix the rice with our cranberry-carrot mix.

And enjoy 🙂


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