I know I have been posting a few rice dishes lately, like this rice pilau and this potato kale curry with rice but rice is so versatile and budget-friendly! I try to include a rice dish or two in my meal plan each week, usually in the form of an Indian curry served with rice or an Asian style dish like fried rice or stir fried vegetables on rice.
This week I spiced things up a bit and made this Persian rice. I can’t remember what inspired me to make it this week, but I remember dining at a Persian restaurant back when we lived in Brisbane, and I ordered a Persian rice quite similar to this dish. Fragrantly spiced rice with chewy pieces of dates and crunchy slivers of nuts…it’s a relatively simplistic dish but with a real authentic Persian flavour.
I used a mixture of rice and tri-coloured quinoa in this dish, but feel free to use extra rice instead of the quinoa. I like to add quinoa to rice dishes as my family aren’t always overly fond of quinoa…however, quinoa is an amazing seed (or pseudo-grain), packed with protein and a good source of iron and magnesium, so I add quinoa to dishes where possible. Like my raspberry quinoa granola – my family were none the wiser they were chomping down on quinoa!
Also – I just want to share that I have written a guest post for my friend Vicki at Vee’s Easy Vegan this week. If you are interested in my veganism origins, check out my post, and stick around to be inspired by Vicki’s minimalist vegan lifestyle.
But back to rice. Rice is amazingly versatile. It fits in with a lot of different cultural foods (Persian, Indian, Asian, African) and isn’t limited to savoury dishes. Rice is also used in desserts, can be made into protein powder, gluten-free flour, and rice milk. While white rice is stripped of most of its nutrients, brown rice is considered one of the world’s healthiest grains, being high in manganese, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium, just to name a few. While I try to use brown rice where possible (my family are still adjusting…), this recipe uses white basmati rice. If you decide to use brown rice instead, you will need to increase the rice cooking time to approximately 25 minutes.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- ½ cup quinoa
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 onion
- ¼ cup pistachios
- ¼ cup almonds
- ½ cup dates
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cardamon
- 1 lemon
- Add the rice and quinoa to a saucepan with the water, cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let the rice cool.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low-med heat.
- Thinly slice the onion and add to the frying pan.
- Cook the onion for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to caramelize.
- Finely chop the nuts and dates and add to the onions, along with the spices.
- Continue to cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Add the onion mixture to the rice and quinoa.
- Juice the lemon and add as well.
- Stir well to combine all ingredients.
- Serve immediately or after chilling.
This recipe is being shared at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up.
Tell me in the comments…
- Do you eat a lot of rice?
- Do you sneak healthy foods into your unsuspecting family’s meals?