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rice with chickpeas, currants, and herbs

May 14, 2013

2/3 cup wild rice (optional)
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
3 tsp curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp fennel seed
two pinches of ground fennel
2 cans chickpeas
2/3 cup currants (or whatever dried fruit you have)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place wild rice in small saucepan covered with plenty of water. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low simmering for 35-40 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Bring water to boil for basmati rice
In medium saucepan and 1 tbsp of olive oil and heat over high. Add the basmati rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt and toast. Slowly add water on very high heat, bring to boil, cover, and turn heat down to low.
After basmati rice has cooked for 15-20 minutes, remove from heat, fluff with fork, and let sit for ten minutes.
In the meantime while rice is cooking ready chickpeas. (You can do this in two batches if you have a small pan.)
Place 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in 12 inch skillet and heat over high heat. Add 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas and stir to coat with olive oil.
Add 1 1/2 tsp each of curry powder and cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp fennel seed. Stir quickly to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Assemble salad, add both types of rice, chickpeas, currants, and herbs. Stir to combine, taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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from here

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I left out the wild rice (it’s so expensive!) and substituted a mix of dried cranberries, cherries, and raisins for the currants. This was delicious and elegant in its simplicity. Some who like being smacked with flavor may not love it, since the flavor is on the subtle side. Dinner guest said, “Well, at least there’s dried fruit in it.” I’ll definitely be making this again, but not for picky eaters. I served it with peanut mint chutney, and it added a great kick. Cheap, easy, healthy, fresh-tasting rice dish. Try this one!

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