ffwD: Cardamom Rice Pilaf

Being Filipino, I’ve grown up eating steamed white rice with just about every meal, even at breakfast when last night’s leftovers were re-heated in case anyone had a taste for them. I learned at a young age, seven perhaps, how to properly measure the amount of water needed in proportion to the amount of dry rice in the rice cooker. While we’re on that subject, using a rice cooker is the preferred method (in my opinion) to make rice while the stove top method is less than ideal. When I moved into my first apartment, the first item my mother bought me was a rice cooker. The second? A 25-lb. bag of jasmine rice from the Asian food store. Never mind that I didn’t have any plates, bowls or spoons.

Having said all that, imagine my lack of enthusiasm in making this stove top rice pilaf. Instead of an entree’s seasonings delicately flavoring the rice like I’m used to, this dish made a halfhearted attempt at being self-sustaining in the flavor department. It just didn’t do it for me, even with the cardamom. I guess my palette expects steamed rice to be a blank canvas. To play a supporting role until it comes together with another dish’s flavor. Does that make sense? Meh, personal tastes, I suppose. I had a sneaking suspicion that this pilaf probably wasn’t up my alley, so I didn’t make a full serving. No need to waste perfectly good rice and cardamom!

To see other bloggers’ thoughts on cardamom rice pilaf, head over to French Fridays with Dorie. As usual, the recipe for this dish can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cher
    May 27, 2011 @ 07:12:26

    I guess they can’t all be winners! At least you gave it a try. It looks pretty in the dish, though!

  2. Liz
    May 27, 2011 @ 07:26:31

    What a wonderful mom you have! I hope you’ll share one of your rice dishes πŸ™‚

  3. saffronandhoney
    May 27, 2011 @ 07:27:17

    Your pilaf turned out such a beautiful color!
    Sorry that it wasn’t you favorite, but you still gave it your best shot :).

  4. Nandini
    May 27, 2011 @ 07:43:08

    Wow! This must’ve turned out aromatic and it looks very scrumptious!

  5. sanyaliving
    May 27, 2011 @ 08:07:41

    Your mum sounds like a classic! Love it!
    We didn’t mind the rice but we don’t eat that much rice.
    Like your photo, looks great and full of flavour!

  6. Parsley Sage
    May 27, 2011 @ 08:11:48

    I have to laugh at this a little πŸ™‚ I love that you didn’t waste the cardamom, at $12 a pop its no wonder! Next week, I’m sure Dorie will have something right up your alley

  7. Eileen
    May 27, 2011 @ 08:17:45

    Oh no! That’s too bad that you didn’t like this. Oh well, if everybody liked everything, there’d be nothing to talk about. πŸ™‚

  8. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    May 27, 2011 @ 08:27:58

    Your pilaf turn out beautifully. Sounds to me like your priorities were in line with the rice and rice cooker. Katherine told me she almost bought me an 11-pound bag of arborio rice from St. Louis when she was in Little Italy and I was thinking well why didn’t you. (We get a little crazy when we visit there.)

  9. Adriana
    May 27, 2011 @ 08:29:17

    Chunkletita, I cheated and used the rice cooker. My trick for making easy pilafs is to take out the insert, sautee aromatics and toast rice on the stovetop, and return the inner pot to the rice cooker. I do get that sometimes rice is best as a medium for tasty sauces.

  10. Trevor Sis. boom
    May 27, 2011 @ 09:08:40

    Another week I sat out. Ho hum. I’m not really sure how one takes a picture of rice but for me this week it was more a matter of time. I do love cardamom so I will more than likely try it despite the lackluster reviews.

  11. Denise @ There's a Newf in My Soup!
    May 27, 2011 @ 09:25:33

    Since we’re moving in a few weeks, I l’ve been looking for every opportunity to use up stuff in the pantry. I had a jar with exactly 8 cardamom pods left, so I’m happy that’s gone now! I liked the flavor, but wasn’t overly wowed.

  12. Chaya
    May 27, 2011 @ 09:46:09

    When hubby was diagnosed with celiac, rice became a staple. I had to learn to cook without gluten and it was a challenge. We learned to like rice. I think the cardamom filled out the taste. I also used a honey lemon pepper which gave it zest.

    Even though this was not a winner for you, it looks good.

  13. Three-Cookies
    May 27, 2011 @ 10:59:58

    Haha, funny write up. Did you end up finishing it?

    • yummychunklet
      May 27, 2011 @ 11:44:41

      Hardly. I took a couple of bites and then threw the rest out. Good thing because I would’ve hated to waste the cardamom on the entire recipe amount!

  14. Ker-Yng
    May 27, 2011 @ 11:12:12

    Good looking pilaf. You make perfect sense to me. Maybe we just need to know what to serve the pilaf with, something complementary that will bring the everything taste good!

  15. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    May 27, 2011 @ 11:27:47

    I love that those two things were the first things to make it into your apartment. Gotta love moms. πŸ™‚ Sorry this wasn’t a hit for you – it looks really good!

  16. jay
    May 27, 2011 @ 11:56:02

    absolutely mouthwatery…recipe sounds very interesting too..;P
    Tasty Appetite
    Event: Letz Relishh Ice Creams

  17. Joyti
    May 27, 2011 @ 13:04:16

    Aww, your rice pilaf looks quite delicious. I understand, there are a lot of times when slightly flavored rice throws me off too…it either has to be full-on biryani/fried rice or just plain steamed.

  18. fitchocoholic
    May 27, 2011 @ 13:33:14

    We eat tons of rice here too……I usually do prefer it plain….
    Sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you, we all have those moments! πŸ˜€

  19. pachecopatty
    May 27, 2011 @ 13:49:54

    The cardamom rice was good with the spicy lamb but maybe a little plain on it’s own. I did enjoy breaking out the little cardamom seeds from the pod, maybe some red pepper flakes?

  20. Christina
    May 27, 2011 @ 14:05:41

    We ended up really liking it, but the cardamom was a new experience for me – so that might be why we enjoyed the flavors so much.

  21. Cooking Gallery
    May 27, 2011 @ 14:31:49

    I love to see different types of rice dishes and this is one of them, I’ve been thinking of making other things than onigiri in my bento ;). Btw, I have some awards for you, please pick them up whenever you have the time :).

  22. greedy rosie
    May 27, 2011 @ 16:04:59

    Well. It does look good. My Chinese friends in the UK are also big fans of plain rice, cooked in a rice cooker, and eat it every day, usually. But me, despite a love of curries and all that, get sooo bored with plain white rice. I guess I don’t view anything on my plate as a blank canvas. Viva la diffrence eh?

  23. Mary
    May 27, 2011 @ 16:31:44

    I’m with you on preferring my rice plain, though I do insist on cooking on the stovetop! I love the crisp bottom layer I get that way. I didn’t make this, though I do love cardamom. Will have to dig out my French Fridays book as I’m completely delinquent. Maybe that roasted rhubarb is the thing to draw me back…

  24. torviewtoronto
    May 27, 2011 @ 16:36:31

    we usually put whole cardamom only about 2 to flavour plain rice with other whole spices πŸ™‚
    I am glad hope to see your entries

  25. Yuri
    May 27, 2011 @ 17:05:51

    Oh, I didn’t know you were Filipino πŸ˜€ like you, I grew up using a rice steamer and never cook rice on the stovetop. I’ll be cooking loads of rice this weekend, we are celebrating mother’s day on Sunday here in the Dominican Republic and I am making sushi for my family [almost 30ppl]. Happy Memorial Day weekend, hope u have fun and can’t wait to see how you celebrate these last 4 days of our Birthday month! xoxo

  26. Louise
    May 27, 2011 @ 17:10:33

    I’m still smiling thinking about your mom and the rice cooker. What did my mother and grandmother bring to my first apartment? A broom, salt and a loaf of home made bread. (some Italian superstitious thing, which I wish I remembered:),

    The the pilaf looks lovely. Perhaps, like me, you are so accustomed to some things which call comfort to your younger days and nothing can quite rise to the occasion, perhaps:)

    Thanks for sharing, yummy…

  27. rebecca
    May 27, 2011 @ 17:23:06

    he he my hubby is Indian I can relate use the rice cooker all the time πŸ™‚

  28. Mary
    May 27, 2011 @ 19:37:57

    I love that you rescued the cardamom. There were other people who did not care for this recipe, so rest assured ,you were not alone. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  29. Elaine
    May 27, 2011 @ 19:55:02

    Thank you for your post! I am so glad that I am not alone this week. πŸ™‚ John and I are used to the rice being flavored by other foods in the meal as well, but you said it so beautifully. I think I prefer cardamom in baked goods, but maybe I just need to get used to the flavor a bit more.

  30. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit
    May 27, 2011 @ 22:01:00

    Awww…so sorry it was a disappointment. We don’t eat a lot of rice, so I do cook it on the stove. Maybe I should try the rice cooker- I just don’t know where I would put it!

  31. Tanvi
    May 27, 2011 @ 23:07:45

    We also eat rice a lot, alomst daily for dinner.I love the simple yet exotic flavors in this pilaf..sounds soo aromatic!

  32. Krissy
    May 27, 2011 @ 23:18:30

    Yes, I love the Asian way to cook rice, and the Mexican way…And I love rice pudding…and you are totally right. I love the bland rice foundation that supports so many wonderful flavors and textures. We had to come up with an entire meal just so this rice could work for us. I can’t imagine sitting down to eat a bowl of this rice when I could sit down to a bowl of vegetable fried rice or so many other wonderful choices. And I also agree that stove top rice is a pain, and if the pan runs to dry or gets to hot, what a cleanup mess!

  33. Maya
    May 28, 2011 @ 03:53:47

    When I moved out to University, my mom packed a small rice cooker (for 2 pax) in my suitcase too. I think Asian moms generally think that their kids 1. Probably eat nothing else but rice at every meal like at home 2. Can’t cook rice on a stove without burning it! This cardamom pilaf may not be to your liking but it’s great that you had a go at it.

  34. chutneyandspice
    May 28, 2011 @ 06:54:19

    I love leftover rice for breakfast, infact every time of the day, its such a great food. I love the way that you describe what rice should do – form a backdrop to other stronger flavours.

  35. kitchen flavours
    May 28, 2011 @ 07:38:07

    Like everyone says, your rice looks yummy! I can relate to the fact that you love plain white rice, as it really complements well with any kind of dish, be it spicy or sweet or anywhere in between! I love plain white rice! Having rice pilaf or any kind of rice once in a while is a treat, but old plain white rice is definitely the champion! πŸ™‚

  36. Mary
    May 28, 2011 @ 08:06:00

    I have to tell you, it looks delicious. Sorry it didn’t thrill you, I think it’s always helpful to experiment though – finger’s crossed for the next recipe!

  37. Tricia S.
    May 28, 2011 @ 08:37:13

    Good for you for trying the rice recipe from a “french book” πŸ™‚ And good call on making a half recipe when you had your doubts. I was sorry to hear it didn’t make your short list but appreciated your info about the rice cooker. I had heard from others who had this “gadget” and they raved about it – claimed it was a necessity….but I wasn’t sure it was not more than a gadget. Good info.

  38. Peggy
    May 28, 2011 @ 09:22:27

    It looks great! Sorry you didn’t end up liking it – but I’m in the same boat with ya, plain rice from the rice cooker is my favorite kind =)

  39. Betsy
    May 28, 2011 @ 10:25:29

    Moms are great at helping us make our homes feel like their homes. Tradition! Sorry you didn’t like this one, but you did try it and didn’t miss a surprise. Next week could be the next winner for you.

  40. Sutapa
    May 28, 2011 @ 10:52:35

    Your pilaf looks beautiful and very scrumptious!

  41. Candy (Dulce)
    May 28, 2011 @ 13:00:51

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. Rice cooker, yes. Plain rice, yes… so many ways to enjoy it, while savoring the flavor. BUT, your pilaf looks great!

  42. Simply Life
    May 28, 2011 @ 13:52:10

    yum! what a perfect rice dish!

  43. Maris (In Good Taste)
    May 28, 2011 @ 17:24:07

    This looks so terrific! I am sorry you were disappointed

  44. Christina
    May 28, 2011 @ 17:48:33

    I wasn’t too inspired by this one either, so I skipped it. You got a great picture of it, though. I’m impressed!

  45. High Heels and Good Meals
    May 28, 2011 @ 22:46:19

    I love rice! This pilaf looks delicious!

  46. chunklet's mom
    May 28, 2011 @ 23:02:32

    picture looks nice! if i hadn’t read your post, i would have assumed it was delicious too πŸ˜‰

  47. Cakelaw
    May 29, 2011 @ 17:22:01

    LOL – at least you gave it a go. I enjoyed it with sauce from beef strog to flavour it some more.

  48. Vardhini
    May 29, 2011 @ 17:40:53

    I am not a big cardamom fan but this pilaf sure looks yummy πŸ™‚


  49. Marcella
    May 29, 2011 @ 18:16:38

    Great post! I’m with you on being less than “wow’ed” with this recipe. Hey, we gave it a shot. Not everything can be a winner I guess.

  50. Candy
    May 30, 2011 @ 05:59:42

    Seems like the general consensus of this one is just ‘ok’. I love the story about your mom and the rice cooker!

  51. Renee - Kudos Kitchen
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 15:17:14

    I applaud your honesty here. I liked your story about your moms gift to you. Very cute. Ah well, better luck with the next recipe.

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