In this special Ramadan series, Julia Toon, culinary motivator and author of the book ‘Good Eating: A Taste of Qatar’, will bring you recipes that are perfect for the celebration of the Holy Month of Ramadan. New recipes every week, straight from Jules of the Kitchen.
Fragrant Arabic Rice
I love rice when aromatic herbs and spices are added to it during or after cooking. Try this easy cook rice, using the method I mention or simply use an electric rice cooker (which are surplus to buy if you live in the Middle East). Just place the rice in the cooker, add water to just a thumbnail above the rice level, followed by all the spices and cook, how easy is that!
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Stove top or rice cooker method
1-2 tbsp oil – rapeseed or coconut oil
1 large red onion – thinly sliced
450g basmati rice – washed
1 whole dried lime
3-4 cardamon pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
100g shelled pistachio nuts
1 large pinch of ousfer strands – or a pinch of saffron
Sea salt – to taste
Plenty of fresh-milled black pepper
Touch of ground crushed chilli flakes – optional
Heat enough oil to just cover the base of a saucepan. Add sliced onion and soften.
Add washed rice, cardamoms pods, cumin seeds and dried lime plus 1 tsp of salt. Turn in the oil then pour on enough boiling hot water to cover the rice with a thumbs depth extra.
Bring back to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to very low.
Allow rice to cook at this low temperature checking now and again. After about 10 minutes stir rice and taste to see if soft and if so remove from heat but keep lid on.
Now add the ousfar strands. Mix in well and return the lid. Leave like this until required.
Before serving turn into a mixing bowl. Add pistachio nuts and seasonings, mix well
Tip into serving dish and top with a few chopped herbs. Can be eaten hot or cold.
Jules Tips: I use ousfar to add colour and flavour. This can be found in most supermarkets at half the price of saffron, however, if you prefer do use saffron. This rice can be made ahead of time and either re-heated in the oven or quickly in the microwave. A great family filler at all meal times!
Contributed by: Julia Toon, Jules of the Kitchen
Click here for more recipes in this series.