Scented jewelled rice

Amira Middle Eastern Rice

This fragrant spiced rice was specially created for the Amira rice brand by highly acclaimed food writer and author, Genevieve Taylor.

  • Rice type: Basmati rice
  • Servings: 6
  • Preparation Time: 35 mins
  • Cooking Time: 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 250g Aromatic rice
  • 250g flat green lentils
  • 3 large red onions, (about 750g before peeling) finely sliced
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 5g whole cloves
  • 5g cardamon pods, bruised open with the flat of a knife
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5g dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • 2 packs halloumi cheese, cut into 1cm slices
  • a little olive oil for brushing
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch shallots, finely chopped
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Equipment

  • Sieve
  • bowl
  • saucepan
  • collander
  • deep frying pan (with lid)
  • wooden spoon
  • measuring jug
  • griddle pan
  • serving dish

step 1

Rinse the basmati rice well under cold running water and tip into a bowl. Cover with cold water and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.

step 2

Tip the lentils into a small saucepan and cover well with cold water. Bring up to the boil and simmer rapidly for 10-12 minutes until they are just tender but with plenty of bite. Drain and set aside

step 3

Add the oil and butter to a large deep frying pan and set over a low heat, stirring through the onions, cloves, cardamon pods, cinnamon and chilli flakes. Fry very gently, stirring well to coat the onions, for around 30 minutes until meltingly soft and lightly caramelized. Stir through the garlic for just a minute. Drain the Basmati rice well and add to the pan along with the onions, stirring well to coat the onions. Add the cooked lentils and pour in the stock, season and bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover tightly with a lid or snug fitting sheet of foil and simmer gently for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to rest, covered and undisturbed, for a further 10 minutes

step 4

Whilst the rice is resting, heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Brush the halloumi lightly with olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes on both sides until crisp, then chop roughly into bite sized pieces

step 5

Remove the lid from the Basmati rice and fork through to fluff up and separate the grains. Taste to check the seasoning, adding a little more salt and pepper to taste. Tip into a serving dish, scatter over the halloumi and sprinkle on the sliced chilli and coriander