Apricot Pilaf


My hubbie is such a good man! He let me fly down to Melbourne all by myself to attend a ProBlogger event for food and wine bloggers. It was held in the restaurant MAHA owned by Chef Shane Delia.

There were about 100 of us at least, I’d say. Can you imagine the quality of the food with over 100 food critics devouring his food? As he came out to welcome us all and give a little speak, he told us he had never felt these kinds of nerves before. Every mouthful would be critically savoured, judged, photographed, tweeted; every dish visually devoured and verbally chronicled; every palate deconstructing the distinguishing characteristics of each dish presented.


Apricot Pilaf


Even though most were sitting next to a total stranger (or finally putting a face to a blog website they follow), it was all served much as a family Sunday meal would be, with diners taking how much each would like from various dishes.

There certainly was no shortage of food and I can honestly say that I could not fault any of the dishes presented. Chef Shane and his team chose a fantastic menu for us. Each of the three courses had matching wines which also were faultless.

We all met ‘Chef’ as he walked around the tables asking if everything was ok. With full mouths and thumbs giving the “ok” we nodded approvingly…… hmmmph hmmmph….nom nom nom….



I totally enjoyed the evening, meeting new people with similar interests and learning a lot from the speakers that presented us with much needed information to help us all produce a better blog.

Of course, I just had to buy a signed copy of his book too!!! As we left we were presented with a little bag of goodies to take home.

I walked the 7 blocks from 21 Bond Street to my accommodation……I NEEDED to! I don’t think I could have fitted into a taxi…


On Sunday, I cooked the 12 hour lamb dish (after it had marinated for 2 days) that I had at the restaurant. The recipe is in the book. It wasn’t as sweet as his, though I have a sneaky suspicion that no Chef is going to give you the exact recipe because they want you coming back. I think he must have added some honey to the marinade as the lamb was very sweet. So I will add it next time I make it and see if it is a little closer to his wonderful creation.


Here is recipe from Chef Shane Deliah’s book “MAHA”. He asks you to cook it on the stove top, but I cooked mine in the rice cooker with great success, so I could concentrate on other things…..like making four other dishes and cuddling my friends’ baby. Hehe.

It is a lovely sweet dish even though it is not a desert.


A pilaf refers to a variety of rice dishes cooked with meat, vegetables or fruits and nuts.

This is my version…..




  • 100g butter
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 1 brown onion diced
  • 100g dried apricots chopped
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 500g Arborio rice
  • 1 litre boiling water (or chicken stock)
  • 4 carrots grated
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ bunch dill finely chopped



  1. Melt the butter and toast the pine nuts in the butter for a minute until nicely coloured.
  2. Add onion, cinnamon and cook for about 3 mins.
  3. Add the apricots and rice and stir to coat all the grains with the butter.
  4. Place into a rice cooker adding boiling water, salt and grated carrots stirring just to combine.
  5. Cover with lid and turn rice cooker on to ‘cook’.
  6. When rice cooker has finished, stir though the chopped dill and serve.




That looks really good! I have Maha but I didn’t see that recipe 🙂


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