Jewelled Persian Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Recipe | Abel & Cole
Jewelled Persian Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
This generous pot of mildly spiced Middle Eastern rice is studded with vibrant peppers and meaty aubergines from the Med, and finished with a sweet sparkle of pomegranate and orange.
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414 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 3 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 red pepper
  • 100g kale
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 orange
  • 1 chilli
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 500g white basmati rice
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 pomegranate
From your kitchen
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ltr boiling water
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Peel and finely slice the onions. Scrub the carrots and chop into small pieces. Trim the aubergines and dice them. Halve the pepper and scrape out the seeds and membrane. Finely chop the pepper. Trim any tough stalks away from the kale and roughly shred the leaves.

  • 2.

    Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop or grate them. Finely grate the zest off the orange. Halve the chilli and flick out the seeds and membrane for less heat. Finely chop the chilli.

  • 3.

    Pour 1 tbsp oil into a large pan and bring to a medium heat. Slide in the onions and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Cook for 10 mins, stirring now and then, till golden and soft.

  • 4.

    Stir the chopped carrot, chilli, aubergines, pepper, garlic and orange zest into the onions. Sprinkle in 2 tsp each turmeric and mixed spice and 1 tbsp garam masala. Cook for a further 7-8 mins, stirring every so often, till the veg have slightly softened. If the pan starts to look a little dry, stir in 2 tbsp cold water.

  • 5.

    Crumble the vegetable stock cube into a jug and whisk in 1 ltr boiling water, till dissolved.

  • 6.

    Stir the kale and rice into the veg and pour over the hot stock. Bring back to the boil, then cover the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 mins, then remove from the heat and allow to steam for a further 8 mins.

  • 7.

    Halve the pomegranate. Place 1 half, cut-side down, in the palm of your hand. Hold over a bowl and whack the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon so the seeds tumble into the bowl. Repeat with the other half. Pull any stubborn seeds out of the skins with your fingers, discarding the white pith.

  • 8.

    Stir the rice and veg. Sprinkle in the pomegranate seeds and squeeze in the orange juice. Taste the rice pilaf and add more salt and pepper if needed, then pile into warm bowls and serve.

  • Tip

    Wrap it up
    This big pan of pilaf will feed 6 hungry mouths, but a few other dishes on the table will turn it into a feast. Serve with garlic and herb flatbreads to scoop up the rice. For a zingy topping, make a quick chopped salad with diced cucumber, toasted coriander and cumin seeds, chopped fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon over each bowlful.