- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 lemon
- A 250g pack of diced chicken leg
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A 150g bag of bulgar wheat
- 2 large handfuls of rocket
- 1 pomegranate
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 500ml boiling water
- Pan with a lid
- Pestle and mortar
- Measuring jug
Peel and finely chop the onion. Halve the pepper and flick out the seeds and white bits. Finely chop it. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Finely grate or pare the zest from the lemon.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken. Fry for 5 mins till golden. Stir now and then.
Add the onion and pepper to the pan. Season. Fry for 5 mins till soft and glossy. Stir in the garlic. Cook and stir for 1 min till the pan smells sweet.
Bash 4 cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar or with the end of a rolling pin to split them open. Add the seeds to the pan. Drop in a cinnamon stick. Add the lemon zest and bulgar wheat. Pour in 500ml boiling water.
Bring the pilaf up to the simmer. Cover. Simmer gently for 10 mins till the bulgar wheat is tender. Remove from the heat. Stir in half the rocket so it wilts.
While the pilaf cooks, roll the pomegranate around in your hands to loosen the seeds. Slice in half. Hold half over a bowl, cut-side down, and tap with a wooden spoon to shake out the seeds. Repeat with the other half.
Roughly chop the parsley leaves. Squeeze the juice from half the lemon. Stir the parsley and lemon juice into the pilaf. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the pilaf with the pomegranate seeds and remaining rocket scattered over the top and wedges of the remaining lemon half for squeezing.
Spice is nice
For a warming bedtime drink, simmer a couple of mugfuls of milk (or almond or hazelnut milk) with the leftover cardamom pods and cinnamon for a few mins. Strain into mugs or whisk with cocoa powder for a spicy hot chocolate.