I often make this dish on a Sunday evening when the weekend is winding down and I don’t want to spend more than about half an hour in the kitchen cooking. It’s also easy to prepare because the ingredients are ones I usually have in the cupboard, apart from the prawns, but I usually have a bag of these in the freezer.
I like grains, especially rice, couscous and burghul (cracked wheat, also known as pourgouri in Greek). I like them even more when they have added ingredients such as nuts and dried fruit. I feel as if I am eating something that’s not only tasty but also healthy, so I can eat more of it!
There are 2 recipes in this post which you can eat together or separately – I’ve put them together and they complement each other beautifully. Both dishes are fast, easy and very tasty. There is also a yoghurt accompaniment that cools the chilli in the rice.
Spicy Rice With Nuts (serves 2 generously)
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- half a medium sized onion, thinly sliced
- zest of a medium sized lemon
- 30gr cashew nuts
- 20gr pine nuts
- 15 gr sunflower seeds
- 30gr brazil nuts (optional)
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2-1tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1/2 cup white basmati rice, rinsed in cold water and drained
- 1 cup hot water with 1/2tsp salt or 1 cup veg. stock
- handful of chopped fresh coriander (if not using the prawn topping)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the cumin seeds, stirring occasionally until they sizzle.
- Add the onions and lemon zest and fry for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir from time to time to make sure they don’t burn.
- Add the nuts and stir fry for 1 minute to toast them slightly.
- Add the tomatoes, chilli, rice and coriander, if using.
- Add the hot water and salt or stock, stir and bring to the boil.
- Put a well-fitting lid on the pan, turn the heat down low and leave it steam for exactly 15 minutes without lifting the lid.
- After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, slip a piece of strong kitchen towel or a clean teatowel under the lid and leave it to rest while you make the prawns.
Prawns With Garlic and Coriander
- 200gr raw, peeled prawns - if there is a blue line (vein) running from top to tail, take the tip of a sharp knife, gently cut into each prawn, remove the vein and discard.
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- handful coriander, chopped
- juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
- Heat the oil in a shallow pan, add the prawns and cook for 1 minute.
- Turn them over and cook the other side for 1 minute.
- Add the garlic, coriander and lemon juice to the pan and cook for about another. minute, stirring until the prawns are well-coated in the mixture which, by this time, should be highly aromatic.
- You can taste one now - just to check if they need more lemon juice.
- Turn off the heat.
First, the rice. Take the lid off the pan and quickly fork the rice to separate the grains then spoon into a shallow dish or on to a large serving plate. Place the prawns and their mixture on top of the rice. Serve on warm plates accompanied by a bowl of plain yoghurt to which you have added 1-2 spoons of olive oil, a crushed clove of garlic and a pinch of salt.