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(by Zilola Melieva)

1 c. dried chickpeas

3/4 c. vegetable oil

5 c. onions, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 lb. beef or mutton, cut into large cubes

4 c. yellow or orange carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 c. dried barberries (or substitute dried cranberries)

2 cloves garlic, peeled

4 c. raw long-grain rice, rinsed in salty water and drained

2 T. zira (or substitute cumin seed)

Soak chickpeas in salted water for 7 – 8 hours before continuing with recipe.

Heat oil in a large pot, and fry onions until golden, about 5 – 7 minutes

Add meat and sauté until browned.

Add carrots.

Pour water just to cover the ingredients.

Add salt, pepper, barberries, chickpeas, and garlic to the pot.

Cook until water bubbles, then lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook until carrots and meat are tender.

Add rice and zira on top of the pot, and season generously with salt.

Add 1 c. boiling water

Increase heat until water boils away and rice is cooked al dente.

Reduce heat to very low, cover pot, and steam for 20 minutes.

Remove garlic cloves.

To serve, place rice on plate, topped with carrots and meat.

Serves 6.

(Read On A Cloud of Nine, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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