Easter rice pilaf with dried fruits (raisins, apricots, prunes)

Traditionally, our family prepares the rice pilaf with dried fruits (Զատկի փլավ չրեղենով, рис с изюмом и сухофруктами) for Easter accompanied by colored eggs and baked fish. I like having rice pilaf especially with raisins as a side dish served with lamb or fish anytime throughout the year. The sweet and savory taste along with crispy crust contrasts well especially with fish. Many variations are possible depending on the preference of dried fruits. This recipe uses unsulfured raisins, prunes and apricots.
chamichov zatki plav


3 - 4 cups steamed or cooked rice (preferably al dente)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, butter or ghee
1/4 cup dried apricots cut in small pieces
1/4 cup prunes cut in small pieces
1/2 cup raisins
100 - 150 grams pizza dough, sourdough or simple dough with water and flour 
salt to taste

I start with steaming or cooking rice as it takes the longest to prepare it. Rice cooker steams the rice evenly and the pilaf rice can be slightly undercooked (al dente) by reducing the amount of water. Al dente texture after steaming allows to cook it fully in the oven after layering with dried fruits and wrapping in the dough.
To prepare the dough from scratch combine 100 grams of flour with  50 - 60 grams of water and shape it into a soft, smooth ball. Let it rest for a few minutes then roll it to about 3 millimeter thickness, relatively thin. Combine dried fruits and sauté in a pan with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, butter or ghee. After sautéing for about 3 minutes dried fruits will become soft and ready to be mixed with al dente rice.
Lightly oil inside the pot or dutch oven (I use 4 liter capacity dutch oven). Place the dough in the pot with the ends resting on the sides of pot. Place 4 -5 tablespoons of rice in the pot on top of the dough, then spread 1 - 2 tablespoons of sautéed dried fruit, continue rice and dried fruits.
Chamichov pilav preparation

Bring the dough ends together and brush the surface of dough with the leftover oil.

Chamichov pilav dough

Cover and bake in the oven at 200C / 400F for 20 - 25 minutes.
Chamichov plav

Happy Easter!