Wild Rice with Spiced Chickpeas

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I have been really enjoying Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem of late.  The book features recipes from the Israeli and Arab cultures of the region, with many vegetarian recipes highlighted.  Chickpeas, eggplants, and tahini are, predictably, staples of many of the items found in the book.  Many of the recipes are straight-forward and come together relatively quickly.  All of them have been delicious.

This Wild Rice and Spiced Chickpea dish has already been the feature of several dinners.

Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currents and Herbs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem

WHAT TO GRAB:

1/2 cup wild rice
1 cup basmati rice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups drained chickpeas (canned are fine)
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon flour
2/3 cup currants
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon chopped dill (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

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HOW YOU DO IT:

1.  Start by putting the wild rice in a small saucepan.  Cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for about 40 minutes, until the rice is cooked and still quite firm. Drain and set aside.

2.  To cook the basmati rice, pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a medium sauce pan with a tight-fitting lid.  Place over high heat. Add the rice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and stir as you warm up the rice.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid, and leave to cook for 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a clean tea towel and then put the lid back on.  Leave off the heat for 10 minutes.

3.  While the rice is cooking, prepare the chickpeas.  Toss the chickpeas with the paprika, garlic pepper, cumin, and curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Stir over high heat for two to three minutes, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

4.  Wipe the pan clean.  Pour in 1/4 cup of the sunflower oil, place over high heat. Make sure the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of onion, it should sizzle vigorously. Use your hands to mix the onion with the flour just slightly. Fry the onion slices for two to three minutes, until golden brown. Then transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt. Repeat in batches until all the onion is fried.

5. Finally add both types of rice to the chickpeas and then add the currents, herbs, and fried onion. Stir, taste, and add salt and pepper as you like. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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