My oldest two sons were born in Kazakhstan. We feel so blessed to have the chance to celebrate and explore another culture. And we truly love the country, people, and food (!) of Kazakhstan. March 22 marked the Kazakh New Year (Nauryz) and so we enjoyed celebrating with friends and eating some traditional dishes. This was one of my absolute favorites but I will be sharing four different recipes throughout the coming weeks - they were all delicious.
The recipes were adapted from Cooking for Kaz: Meals for Hope, Volume 2 - my mom and I both have recipes in the book as well as many other talented cooks (how is that for a shameless promo! :)). Please feel free to check it out - the fundraiser is put on by Two Hearts for Hope and all proceeds from the sales of the cookbook benefit orphans in Kazakhstan. And the cookbook features many different types of recipes in addition to several Kazakh recipes.
adapted from Cooking for Kaz: Meals for Hope, Volume 2
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1 c. rice, uncooked
¼ c. almonds, chopped
2 T. currants
2 T. raisins
6 dried prunes
3 T. dates, chopped
4 T. butter
¼ c. dried apricots, cut into strips
1 T. honey
2 c. water
Soak dates, currant and prunes in warm water for 15 minutes. Remove and pat dry, mix with apricots and raisins. Melt the butter in a large skillet over high heat and add the fruit mixture and almonds. Reduce the heat to low and stir for four minutes. Stir in the honey, rice, and water. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, serve hot.
*I very successfully made this in my rice cooker by adding the sautéed fruit, almonds, butter, and honey to the rice and water in the cooker.