Yo. This may be one of the most ridiculously easy dishes/side dishes. Personally I’ve always just eaten rice plain as a side dish or maybe stir fried. Rice has never really been much more than that in my household, although after being inspired by various restaurant dishes, i decided it was time i take my rice up a notch. And let me tell you, this is absolutely fantabulous as a side, but I think if you were to add even more veggies or legumes (pepper, carrot, kidney beans) it would make a star dish all on it’s own.
I think what makes it so fab is the complementary mixes between the fragrant spices and the sweet ring raisins/sultanas; they bring out the flavours in each other. Also: I used sultanas and raisins in this, because it’s what I had, however dates, dried cranberries and even dried apricot would be so delicious here too.
Middle Eastern Rice
serves: 4 (as a side), 2 as a main
300g basmati rice (i use 1:1 brown:white) – can also use quick rice
2tsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
75g/1/2 cup raisins (sultanas, dates, cranberries, apricots…..)
spices: cumin, coriander, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, aniseed, salt
Get your rice cooking according to packet instructions, this should take anywhere from 15-30mins unless using quick/pre-cooked rice
Chop up your onion and garlic.
Rough chop your dried fruit – especially if using dates or apricots.
Sautee your onion in a pan with olive oil until translucent and just beginning to brown, then add the garlic and fruit and sautee until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the spices to taste – as a guideline, you will probably need more cumin, coriander and paprika then pepper, cinnamon or aniseed. Salt should definitely just be to taste.
Quickly toss your rice with this mix to thoroughly coat, then serve with a squeeze of lemon.