Coriander, cumin and cinnamon is a classic Middle Eastern spice combination that goes fabulously with lamb. It also works very well with beef. I swap between using spinach and silverbeet (chard) for this recipe because sometimes one is better value than the other, so I've included directions for both as they are slightly different (because spinach leaves are more delicate). I serve this with a side of fresh sliced tomatoes (without dressing) to make a complete meal. The clean flavours of the tomato are a perfect contrast to the aromatic rice.
Course: Midweek Meal, Rice
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4- 5
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
400 g / 13 oz mince/ground lamb
1onion, diced (brown, white or yellow)
6cups(loosely packed) spinach or silverbeet/chard, roughly shredded
2garlic cloves, minced
1tin lentils, drained (400g/14oz) (Note 6)
1cuprice, preferably basmati (see notes)
1 1/2cupswater(see notes)
2 1/2tspcumin powder
1/2tspchilli powder, or cayenne pepper or other hot chilli powder (not American Chilli Powder) (optional)
1/2tspground black pepper
3 tomatoes, sliced thickly
Fried Asian Shallots(Scallions) (optional - see notes)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
Add garlic and onion. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until golden and translucent.
Turn up heat to high and add lamb. Use spatula to break mince up and cook until browned.
Add Spice Mix and cook for 30 seconds until spices are fragrant and mixed through the mince.
If using silverbeet/chard, add half the silverbeet into the pan and sauté for 15 seconds until starting to wilt. (If using spinach, do not add any at this stage).
Add rice, water and lentils and stir. Bring to simmer, then put lid on and turn down heat to medium low.
Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until water is absorbed.
Remove pot from heat, take lid off and quickly spread the remaining silverbeet or all the spinach on top of the rice, then put the lid back on.
Rest rice for 10 minutes. Remove lid, stir through silverbeet/spinach and fluff up the rice.
Spoon rice into serving dish, top with Fried Asian Shallots and parsley if desired. Serve the sliced tomatoes on the side.
1. If using silverbeet (chard) which is what I did for this photo, tear the green leaves off the thick part of the white stems. The thinner part towards the leafy end are fine to include - the thick part is too thick and will still be crunchy unless you dice it up pretty finely.2. The best substitute for basmati rice is long grain rice, followed by medium grain rice then short grain rice. This recipe is NOT suitable for arborio (risotto) rice.3. Check your rice to determine quantity of water required as it may differ. You want the amount of water required for the absorption method. For most rice brands, it is 1 cup of rice with 1 1/2 cups of water.4. Fried Asian Crunchy Shallots (Scallions) - I've repeatedly professed my addiction to these. Little slices of shallots that have been deep fried and perfectly seasoned. They are like Asian croutons. They are brilliant on many dishes (including many non Asian dishes) to bring a little burst of salty texture to a dish. They are now readily available in the Asian section of most large grocery stores. They go particularly well with Middle Eastern dishes which often have deep fried onion slices as garnishes on recipes.5. If you want to add extra vegetables: non watery vegetables like carrots and peas are easy to incorporate, just add them with the rice. For watery vegetables like zucchinis, you need to dice (or grate), then sauté them separately. Once sautéed, set aside, proceed with the recipe then add to the pot along with the rice. The reason is that the pot will be too crowded if you try to sauté it with the other ingredients. And you must sauté watery vegetables otherwise there will be too much liquid when cooking the rice.6. I used canned lentils and they are already cooked. So if you make this with dried lentils, cook them separately first then drain, then use per the recipe.7. Nutrition Facts assumes this serves 5 people.