Persian Jewelled Rice

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Persian Jewelled Rice is a fabulous flavoursome dinner. Tonight I added some juicy marinated steak to use it up but so easy and flavourful as a veggie main and so vibrant my camera barely does it justice! This is an Iranian recipe I found in one of the family cookbooks with a few added ideas from this recipe in Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. Dotted with bright pomegranate, caramelised onion and crushed nuts this is an easy and satisfying dinner.

Despite the beef I have realised I am slowly and inadvertently eating far less meat and absolutely loving it. I hadn’t really noticed until I showed my Mum my latest veggie blog posts and ideas yesterday while munching on a falafel, hummus and roast vegetable wrap in the Kentish sunshine. Don’t worry omnivores, I still love meat and will happily eat a rare steak but so many veggie recipes are SO tasty, creative and colourful!

arils

By cooking the basmati with Middle-Eastern Ras al Hanout spice, the rice is rich and mellow against the tangy fruits, perfect with chopped coriander and lots of garlic. Traditionally this would be served with spiced roast chicken or a tagine but I went for some marinated beef, grilled to perfection. Add a little harissa-spiced thick yoghurt and I’m a happy bunny.

Persian Jewelled Rice with Marinated Steak

Ingredients

  • 200g Basmati or Wild rice
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large red onion
  • heaped tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Ras al Hanout spice
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 50g mixed crushed nuts or seeds
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 chopped fresh chilli
  • Coriander, fresh choppedFor the skewers:
  • Diced veggies and steak
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Ras al Hanout

mixed-nuts

Method

First, add the stock cube to at least a litre of boiling water in a saucepan and simply cook the rice according to packet instructions , drain and set aside.

Whip out a large heavy frying pan or wok and heat the oil and butter combination over a strong flame then add the chopped onion. Allow  to crisp up and soften for 5 mins, then add the garlic as this burns more quickly. Reduce the heat to medium and after about a minute, drizzle in the honey and spices to release the flavour, caramelise and mingle before then adding the rice and currents. I add some pepper at this point but rarely add salt as the rice is cooked in stock.

 

Mix of of this together well to really coat the cooked rice in flavour and allow to cook for a few minutes longer, perhaps turning down the heat to minimum if it’s sticking. Serve in a nice bowl sprinkled with the nuts/seeds, pomegranate and chopped coriander with a drizzle of lemon juice.

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