Gastronomy » Cookery & Pastry
Basmati & Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants and Herbs
Source : Armenian International Cuisines and More
No matter what the occasion this visual, textural and aromatic vegetarian masterpiece promises to please everyone’s palates.
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- Curry powder is a spice blend that can be found in the spice aisle of all major grocery stores. You can also order it online or make it at home. I like Alton Brown’s Curry Powder Recipe.
- The original recipe uses easily available, currants. I prefer using Iranian Barberries (Zereshk) as the sweet-and-sour berries accentuate the other flavors of the dish. They can be bought online or from Iranian and Middle Eastern Grocery stores. If using the barberries soak them for a few minutes in boiling water with a pinch of sugar. Drain thoroughly before using them.
Yield: 6-8 servings
- ½ cup wild rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1.5 cups boiling hot water
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder (See note)
- 1 ½ cups of cooked and drained chickpeas (canned are fine)
- 4 tablespoons canola or sunflower oil for frying
- 1 medium yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons of all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup Iranian barberries (Zereshk) or regular dried currants (See notes)
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1) Place the wild rice in a small saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring the water to a boil and then leave it to simmer for 40-45 minutes until the wild rice is cooked but still firm. Drain and set aside.
2) While the wild rice is cooking cook the Basmati rice: In a medium saucepan that has a tight fitting lid warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Once the oil is heated add the rice and ¼ teaspoon salt and stir to warm up the rice. Carefully, add the boiling water, and decrease the heat to low. Cover the pan with the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the rice covered for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and use a fork to fluff the rice. The original recipe treats the rice a bit differently. After 15 minutes of cooking the basmati rice on the stove-top it states: Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and then lid, and leave off the heat for 10 minutes. You can use either method or cook the rice however you normally do.
3) While the Basmati rice is cooking prepare the chickpeas: In a small saucepan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and curry powder and wait for a few seconds till the seeds start sputtering and you get the aroma of the spices. Add the cooked chickpeas and ¼ teaspoon salt. Do all this quickly, so that the spices do not burn. Mix everything well together (1-2 minutes) until the chickpeas are heated through. Remove the chickpeas and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
4) Wipe the same saucepan clean, pour in the canola or sunflower oil and place over high heat. While the oil is heating toss the onions with the all-purpose flour. When the oil is hot pan-fry the onions in batches until they are golden brown. Do not let them burn. Place the cooked onions on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
5) Add both types of cooked rice to the chickpeas. Add the barberries or currants, herbs and fried onion. Stir everything together, taste it and add salt and pepper per your taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.