10 minutes of prep, no chopping, then the hardest part is patience while the rice rests for 10 minutes. This is an authentic celebration dish of the Middle East, a great centre piece for a feast. The fragrance of this dish is more subtle than the Middle Eastern Rice (Mejadra) that I posted previously, but still so flavoursome you can eat it just as is. It only needs plain roasted vegetables to accompany it, or a simple piece of grilled fish to make a complete meal. Definitely a dish to pop into your RecipeTin app so you have it offline in your pocket when you want it!
- 1 cup basmati rice (or long grain or wild rice)
- 1½ water (see note)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tins (21oz / 600g) chickpeas, drained, but still wet
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala (see note for substitutions)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup parsley leaves
- ¼ cup cilantro (coriander) leaves
- ¼ cup sultanas or currents
- Black pepper
- ½ cup fried shallots, store bought (see note)
- Combine rice, water and ½ tsp salt in a saucepan, bring to boil, turn down then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the water is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes - it will absorb the remaining water.
- While rice is cooking, combine chickpeas, ¼ tsp salt, cumin and garam masala in a bowl, toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large pan over high heat, add the chick peas and shake the pan every now and then for 1 minute. Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven at 350F/180C for 5 minutes. Set aside - you can leave them in the pan if you want.
- After the rice has rested, combine with the chickpeas, parsley, coriander and sultanas, and a grind of black pepper. Some of the spice on the chickpeas will come off and disperse throughout the rice - this is supposed to happen. Adjust salt if necessary.
- Lastly, toss through the crispy shallots. Serve warm or at room temperature.
2. Always refer to the rice package instructions for exact water-rice ratios. 1 cup of rice to 1½ cups of water is generally the rule of thumb, but different brands and different types of rices can differ.
3. Fried shallots are store bought and found in the asian section of supermarkets. The salty, crunchy, oily bits are what takes this dish to the next level. Store bought fried shallots are so tasty and it saves so much time (and oil…) rather than frying your own onion.