Start by rinsing 1 cup uncooked basmati rice under lukewarm water and leave it in a bowl with water to slightly puff up. Preheat 2/3 cup grapeseed oil in a cast iron casserole on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prep and cut your main ingredients. Cube 1.5 lb pork meat into 1/2” pieces, chop carrots into matchsticks (about 1.5” long, 1/4” thickness), and chop 1 large onion into similar slices to carrots.
Add cubed meat pieces into heated oil, sauté for about 10-12 minutes, stir occasionally. Add chopped onion to the meat, keep stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes. Add carrots into casserole and keep sautéing for another 10-12 minutes. (Stir occasionally to keep from scorching at the bottom). Meanwhile, measure herbs and spices: 1 1/2 tsp fine salt, 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp ground paprika, and 1/4 tsp dried paprika; whisk together and set aside.
Sprinkle mixed herbs/spices over sautéed ingredients, add in 2 3/4 boiled water, and lightly stir. (I have my water boiler that keeps hot water 24/7, but if you don’t have that, I would suggest boiling water in separate pot to have it ready). Cut off the head of the garlic to expose the cloves. Put garlic cut side down into the center of the soup. You’re going to close the lid now, and keep it cooking for about 40 minutes on low; this is kind of a soup making process.
Remove garlic (make sure you get all the cloves). Rinse rice once more in cold water and spread on top in casserole. DON’T STIR IT, just spread on top to make sure all rice covered in the soup. Close the lid and turn up heat to med-low. Simmer for 15-17 minutes or until only about 3/4" liquid left on the bottom when you put a spatula through. Sprinkle 1 cup dried cranberries over rice, and lightly push into rice, but don’t stir it. Close the lid back on, lower heat to low and let it simmer for another 30-40 minutes until no liquid left. (Keep lid on the whole time so the steam stays in; you can check once-twice on the process).
When finished, transfer cooked pilaf into a big pot or some metal big bowl. I would not suggest mixing in the casserole you cooked as there might be a bit scorching at the bottom (you don’t want that in your pilaf). Very gently mix everything with spatula. Try not to press or squeeze it. Store leftovers in refrigerator when cooled; heat on low the next day. But for now, serve while warm with tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles or any salad. Enjoy!!!