This pilaf is different from other Azerbaijani pilafs as the rice is cooked in milk rather than water.
Südlü pilaf can be eaten on its own or served with smoked fish for a pleasing contrast between sweet and savoury. azerbaijancuisine.com is grateful to Gullu Cahangir for allowing us to use her milk pilaf recipe and photograph, taken from her informative website Azerifood.com.
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 45 min
1 glass of rice
1 1/2 glasses of milk
75-100 g/3-4 oz of unsalted butter
50-75 g/2-3 oz of golden raisins
5 dried apricots, separated in half (optional)
a few strands of saffron
2 teaspoons of sugar (optional)
pinch of salt
Put a few threads of saffron in a cup and add boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse.
Rinse the dried fruit.
Wash the rice and drain well.
Put the rice in a saucepan and add the milk, butter, salt and saffron infusion. Put the pan on a low flame.
Simmer until almost all the milk has been absorbed by the rice. When some two-thirds of the milk has been absorbed, add the dried fruit.
Place a well-fitting lid on top of the saucepan, covered underneath with a clean tea towel. The towel helps to absorb the steam. Turn the heat down as low as possible and leave the rice to finish cooking.