For something so simple to make, this is a very special, satisfying dish.
Total time: 1-½ hours
5 cups white rice
1 tbsp. salt
10 cups water
7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter
2-½ cups vermicelli broken into small pieces
1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
½ cup finely chopped chives or scallions
Put the rice in a bowl with the salt. Boil 10 cups of water and pour it over the rice. Let it stand until the water cools, about ½ hour, then drain.
While the rice cools, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil. In another, large pot with a tight fitting lid, gently melt a stick of butter. Over medium heat, brown the vermicelli, stirring frequently. Add the second stick of butter, let it melt, then add the rice. Stir until the rice grains are well-coated with butter, then pour in the broth. As the broth returns to a boil, stir well, scraping up any grains of rice from the bottom of the pan. Put the lid on the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all of the broth has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat, add the pepper and scallions, and stir well to fluff up the pilaf. Place a dish towel over the pan, replace the lid, and let it sit for ½ hour before serving.
from Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook