The traditional pot used for this dough-encased rice pilaf is a deep tapered cone shape. A cast-iron Dutch oven or other large oven-safe pot will work, as will a Bundt mold, which produces a very decorative dish.
- Whole blanched almonds
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons yogurt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2–3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400°.
Grease pot (or mold) with butter. Place the almonds around the bottom of the greased mold in a decorative pattern and chill the mold in the refrigerator. Mix eggs, yogurt, olive oil, and salt. Sprinkle in the flour while stirring, adding as much as is needed to get a soft dough that is no longer sticky.
Empty dough onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly. Divide into two uneven pieces (one about twice the size of the other). Roll out the larger piece to ⅛-inch thick and then carefully roll it into a cylinder around the rolling pin. Gently unroll the dough from the rolling pin over the prepared pot or mold and let it drop down inside the mold, gently pressing it into place over the almonds so the dough lines the bottom and sides. Press and stretch it so it comes to the lip of the pot or mold.
Pour the rice mixture inside the dough lining. Roll out the smaller piece of dough to ⅛-inch thick, roll it onto the rolling pin as before, and unroll it to cover the rice, pinching the edges closed to encase the rice mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until dough is golden brown and rice is fully cooked. (It’s OK to poke a hole in the dough to test the rice.)
Allow the perde pilaw to cool for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving dish and present it at your special-occasion table.