Many Indian restaurants call any spiced rice dish biryani, but Suvir Saran insists, "Biryani must be layered." Here, he boils rice like pasta to make it fluffy, then layers it in a casserole dish with yogurt, pistachios and apricots.
Melissa Rubel Jacobson
seasons chunks of tender, succulent pork shoulder with Chinese five-spice powder (a mixture of cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns), which is a fast way to add Asian flavor.
This lovely dessert or late-breakfast dish is made by toasting coarse semolina and almonds in butter, then simmering them with sweetened milk and dried apricots. The result is crumbly, aromatic and pilaf-like. It's called helva in Turkey, though it's not to be confused with another Turkish dessert called halvah, which is made with tahini and is fairly common in the U.S.