(Midyeli Pilav / Midye Salma - Istanbul)
1 cup rice, washed and drained
4 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp currant
1 tbsp dry mint
1 1/2 cups hot water
Clean the mussels, scraping with a knife. Half open the round part of the shells and, with a knife, cut out the beards.
Saute the onion with olive oil for about 5 minutes in a medium-size pot. Add the rice and salt, stir and cover. Cook at very low heat until the rice looks almost see-through. Add the sugar, nuts, currants, mint, tomato paste and hot water. Cover and cook at low heat. When you start seeing holes on the surface of the pilaf, add the mussels and stir slowly. Cover and cook until the rice absorbs all the water.
Take the cooking pot away from the heat. Open the lid, place a clean kitchen towel across the top of the pot on the rim and put the lid on back. Let the Pilaf cools down. Take the cooking pot away from the heat. Open the lid, place a clean kitchen towel across the top of the pot on the rim and put the lid back on. Let the Pilaf cool down.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.