Drain the rice and spread it in an even layer over the vegetables. Pour in 3 cups water, then sprinkle with half of the chopped parsley and dill, 1 teaspoon choped mint, and the finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until craters form on the top of the rice.
Wash the rice as follows: Put rice in a large bowl with plenty of cold water. Run fingers through the grains gently, then tip the bowl and pour off most of the milky water. Repeat this until the water is clear. (If using basmati rice, soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Soak other kinds of long-grain or short-grain rice in hot water mixed with 1/2 tablespoon salt to 1 quart water for at least an hour. Drain 20 minutes.)
In a heavy pan, cook onions and pine nuts in olive oil until they turn golden brown. Add tomato and cook 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Add spices and sugar and cook, stirring, a second or two. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add stock and eggplant and 1/3 cup dill; cover and simmer over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Reduce heat to very low and raise pan on a wok ring. Drape a folded kitchen towel over pan, cover with lid, and let rice steam about 15 minutes longer. Remove from heat and let stand covered on a warm surface at least another 15 minutes. Stir gently and serve sprinkled with remaining dill.
All articles © The Baltimore Sun and may not be republished, copied or distributed without permission.
If you have questions or comments about the archives, please send us feedback