This recipe, despite a long list of ingredients, is a great one to kick your standard weeknight rice up a notch. The bevy of flavors from the spices and fresh herbs give it a depth of flavor, and the cumin seeds, wild rice, and fried onions give it some bite. It’s also filling, and can be a one dish meal (my favorite kind to make on a weeknight!) or a great side for roast chicken on the weekend. It’s another hit from the Jerusalem cookbook. If you haven’t yet bought it or sought it out at the library, I highly recommend it!
Basmati & Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants, and Herbs
A Basmati rice recipe is a great way to kick your boring weeknight rice up a notch!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 Servings
- 1/3 cup wild rice
- 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup basmati rice
- Scant 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1 1/2 cups cooked and drained chickpeas (canned are fine)
- 3/4 cup sunflower oil (I used canola oil)
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup currants
- 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp chopped dill
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Start by putting the wild rice in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil, and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes, until the rice is cooked but still quite firm. Drain and set aside.
- To cook the basmati rice, pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a medium saucepan with a tightly fitting lid and place over high heat. Add the rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir as you warm up the rice. Carefully add the boiling water, decrease the heat to very low, cover the pan with the lid, and leave to cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and then the lid, and leave off the heat for 10 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the chickpeas. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the cumin seeds and curry powder, wait for a couple seconds, and then add the chickpeas and 1/4 teaspoon salt; make sure you do this quickly or the spices may burn in the oil. Stir over the heat for a minute or two, just to heat the chickpeas, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Wipe the saucepan clean, pour in the sunflower oil, and place over high heat. Make sure the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of onion; it should sizzle vigorously. Use your hands to mix the onion with the flour to coat it slightly. Take some of the onion and carefully (it may spit!) place it in the oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, then transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt. Repeat in batches until all the onion is fried.
- Finally, add both types of rice to the chickpeas and then add the currants, herbs, and fried onion. Stir, taste, and add salt and pepper as you like. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Source: Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ten Speed Press.