Jerusalem: Basmati Rice w/ Chickpeas, Currants & Herbs
This is my third recipe from the beautiful book JERUSALEM.
I love this book.
Since I am not a fan of wild rice, I just used the basmati, we didn't miss the other rice at all, but if you are a fan, go ahead and make the dish using both rices.
I served this with the Roast Chicken w/ Clementines and Arak from the book, and it was absolutely delicious.
It makes a lot, and is great the next day with some leftover chicken cut up in it cold for lunch!
Basmati & Wild Rice w/ Chickpeas, Currants and Herbs (adapted from JERUSALEM):
1/4 cup wild rice (I did not use)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups basmati rice
1.5 cups or 330 ml boiling water
salt and black pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned are fine), drained
180ml (3/4 cup) sunflower oil (good for frying)
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp flour
2/3 cup currants
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Put the wild rice in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes, until cooked but still firm. Drain and set aside.
To cook the basmati rice, pour a teaspoon of olive oil into a medium saucepan and place on high heat. Add the rice and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and stir as it warms up. Add the boiling water, reduce the heat to minimum, cover with a tight lid and leave for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, lift off the lid, cover the pot with a tea towel, then put the lid on top and leave to rest for 10 minutes. *(this was a fabulous trick, it created a tight seal, and when I lifted the lid and towel, the rice was PERFECT and not one piece of rice stuck to the pot! WOW! SUCCESS! for a change).
Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the cumin and curry powder, and after a couple of seconds add the chickpeas and a some salt; act fast, or the spices may burn. Stir for a minute or two, just to heat the chickpeas, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Wipe the pan clean, add the sunflower oil and place on a high heat. Once the oil is hot, mix the onion and flour with your hands. Take some of the mix and carefully place in the oil. Fry for two or three minutes, until golden-brown, transfer to kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Repeat in batches until all the onion is fried. *(this was a big pain in the butt, and made a mess out of my stove, but it was worth it for those crispy fried onions).
Finally, add both types of rice to the chickpeas bowl, along with the currants, herbs and fried onion. Stir and season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I drizzled some fruity Mediterranean olive oil on top and seasoned with more salt and pepper.
I kept the leftovers in the garage overnight, so the rice would not get firm and tough in the fridge. There is no meat in the dish, so don't worry about not refrigerating it.