Try this delicious recipe by Stevie Parle, demonstrated at Langham Melbourne MasterClass during the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.


  • Pilaf

  • 300g basmati rice

  • 250g butter

  • 2 red onions, sliced into half moons

  • Salt

  • Two big handfuls peas, freshly podded

  • Handful seven spice mix (recipe below)

  • 500g chicken livers, trimmed of membrane, grotty bits etc.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ tbsp pomegranate molasses

  • Seven Spice Mix

  • 150g coriander

  • 130g cumin

  • 120g allspice

  • 150g cinnamon

  • 40g cloves

  • 180g pepper

  • 40g nutmeg

  • To Serve

  • 1 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt

  • At least two handfuls chopped herbs, a mixture of parsley, dill and mint is nice.

  • Sumac

  • Turkish chilli flakes (pul biber)


  • Pilaf:

  • 1.

    Wash the basmati rice carefully in water three times to remove starch, stirring gently with your fingers. Try not to damage the grains. When the water runs almost clear, soak the rice for an hour or two.

  • 2.

    Heat 200g butter in a heavy, deep pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Cook onions slowly in butter with a good pinch of salt until soft but not mushy.

  • 3.

    Add the peas and a good handful (approx. 2 tablespoons) seven spice, continue cooking with onions for about 5 minutes.

  • 4.

    Drain rice well, again taking care not to break up the grains.

  • 5.

    Turn up the heat so the base of the pan is hot and the onions are sizzling.

  • 6.

    Add the rice and a good pinch of salt (bear in mind your onions should be well seasoned too).

  • 7.

    Carefully stir the onions through the rice to mix, twice or three times is enough.

  • 8.

    Add boiling water to cover the rice and about 2.5cm more. The water must be just off the boil and the base of the pan should be hot. Stir only once to mix.

  • 9.

    When the water reaches a fast simmer, put a cartouche over the rice, a tea towel on top, and a tight lid to cover. Weigh down the lid to ensure that no steam can escape.

  • 10.

    Cook for 4 minutes on a high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for a further 6 minutes.

  • 11.

    Take the pan off the heat and rest, covered for about 10 minutes more. Resist the temptation to take off the lid.

  • 12.

    Make sure livers are well trimmed, season them in a bowl with salt.

  • 13.

    Heat a frying pan until smoking hot, add olive oil. Wait a few seconds for the oil to smoke, then add your chicken livers, making sure they have enough space in the pan to fry nicely.

  • 14.

    Sear the livers on one side until golden brown, then turn them over.

  • 15.

    Colour nicely on the other side too, then add a generous pinch of seven spice and turn down the heat.

  • 16.

    Pour over pomegranate molasses and immediately add the remaining 50g butter.

  • 17.

    Toss the livers in the butter and molasses, reducing the molasses slightly. Take off the heat.

  • 18.

    Have your cooked pilaf ready in a bowl. Fluff up slightly with a fork.

  • Seven Spice Mix:

  • 1.

    Lightly toast and grind. This makes a lot and can be stored for use later.

  • To Serve:

  • 1.

    Mix into the rice one good handful of the chopped herbs.

  • 2.

    Plate up the rice.

  • 3.

    Add the yoghurt to the pan with the livers, stir very slightly to mix (but you don't want it all mixed up completely).

  • 4.

    Pour the livers and the sauce over the pilaf. To finish, sprinkle over the rest of the chopped herbs, sumac and chilli flakes.


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