Serves 6-8 / Ingredient tips: Bhutanese red rice has a faint honeylike sweetness, accentuated in this pilaf by sweet fennel seeds and currants. This delicate rice is grown at high altitudes in the Himalayas and is imported and packaged by Lotus Foods. Because some of the bran is removed in processing, it cooks in about 20 minutes, so it's a good choice when you have to get dinner on the table quickly. Prep tip: Use a mortar and pestle to coarsely crush the fennel seeds.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil

¼ cup finely diced shallot

½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds, coarsely crushed

1 cup Bhutanese red rice

1½ cups water

2 tablespoons dried currants

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  1. In a heavy, 2-quart saucepan, heat butter or oil. Add shallot and fennel seeds. Cook over medium-high heat until shallots are translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir in rice to coat.
  2. Stir in water, currants, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender, 20-25 minutes. (When properly cooked, rice will be one color throughout when cut in half crosswise.) Stir in walnuts and parsley; season to taste with salt. Fluff with a fork and serve.

PER SERVING: 178 cal, 31% fat cal, 6g fat, 2g sat fat, 5mg chol, 3g protein, 28g carb, 2g fiber, 197mg sodium