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This is a wonderful, mild pilaf made with tomato juice and optional cinnamon. The handkerchief steaming is what makes it authentically Turkish. Because of the steaming, the cook time is 30 minutes longer than just cooking the rice.
- 1 cup long-grain rice or basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- boiling water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 1 small cinnamon stick, optional
Place the rice and salt in a small bowl and pour in boiling water to cover; set aside until water cools; drain, wash with cold water and drain again. Bring butter, tomato juice, salt to taste and optional cinnamon stick if desired, to boil in a heavy saucepan; add rice, stir, cover and boil for 2 minutes. Lower heat and simmer rice until all the liquid is absorbed; turn off the heat, cover the pan with a clean handkerchief or kitchen towel, replace the cover and set aside for 30 minutes before serving.