Friday, September 22, 2023

A comforting one-pot rice and beans recipe with Persian flavors

Herby Rice and Beans

Energetic time:15 minutes

Complete time:35 minutes

Servings:4 (makes 8 cups)

Energetic time:15 minutes

Complete time:35 minutes

Servings:4 (makes 8 cups)


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At any time when I acquired sick as a child, my mother wouldn’t make hen soup — she’d serve me mushy rice and yogurt. Many rice-eating cultures eat rice and yogurt collectively as a meal or to ease an upset abdomen. I grew to like the easy meal; it was calming and nourishing sufficient to maintain me via the worst of a fever. It’s nonetheless one thing I yearn for, whether or not I’m feeling underneath the climate or simply need a dose of consolation.

This recipe for herby rice and beans, served with a pat of butter and a dollop of yogurt, is a grown-up model of my childhood consolation meals. It was impressed by two Persian dishes: sabzi polo, an herbaceous rice usually served with kebabs or roasts, and ghormeh sabzi, a stew of herbs, lamb and kidney beans.

Although herb-forward dishes are well-liked round Nowruz, the Iranian new 12 months, which takes place within the spring, I’ve tailored this recipe to make use of dried herbs, that are simple to search out year-round.

I borrowed the multistep, one-pot approach from a way Iranians typically use to make rice dishes similar to tahdig. You begin by boiling rice in loads of salted water, as if it’s pasta, earlier than steaming it. I like including a dried lime — a signature ingredient in ghormeh sabzi — to the water, to start out flavoring the rice because it cooks. You don’t must rinse it earlier than boiling it this manner, as you’ll drain away all the extra starchy water, forsaking fluffy, particular person grains of rice.

That very same pot will get rinsed out, dried and used to saute an enormous bunch of sliced scallions till they begin to caramelize. Then in goes a lot of finely chopped spinach and a number of other tablespoons of dried herbs, together with fenugreek.

Dried fenugreek is pretty simple to search out at spice outlets; it might even be labeled methi. When you’ve got entry to contemporary, use that, finely chopped. Whether or not dried or contemporary, fenugreek will add its signature sweet-bitter scent to the dish — and fragrance your entire residence because the rice cooks.

I are likely to dry bunches of herbs within the fall, so by this time of winter they’re crisp and crumbly and prepared for use in dishes like this. It’s additionally simple to substitute contemporary herbs right here in the event you’d like — simply see the substitution part, beneath.

Subsequent, it’s time to combine all of it collectively: The parcooked rice goes in, together with a (drained and rinsed) can of kidney beans. Stir properly, so the greens fall in among the many grains. Then, cowl tightly and permit the rice to complete cooking within the residual moisture on low warmth. After about 12 minutes, you’ll have splendidly fluffy rice, tinted inexperienced and studded with plump beans. It’s scrumptious topped with a pat of butter and creamy yogurt on the aspect.

  • Dried lime, or lemon omani, provides a bitter notice; in the event you can’t discover dried limes, toss the completed rice with the zest and juice of a contemporary lime.
  • You’ll wish to use as a lot of every scallion as attainable. Trim off any dry ends after which thinly slice the remainder.
  • That is particularly fluffy when made with white basmati >> however you should use brown basmati, too. Simply know that it’s going to take longer to cook dinner in step one — take a look at it by biting a grain earlier than draining it. It must be solely barely agency.
  • If you happen to don’t have dried fenugreek leaves >> omit them.
  • To substitute contemporary herbs for dried >> use 1 bunch every parsley and dill, finely chopped.
  • Kidney beans are conventional in ghormeh sabzi >> however in the event you don’t have them, chickpeas or canned lentils would work properly, too.

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  • High quality salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) basmati rice
  • 1 dried lime (lemon omani; see headnote), fastidiously punctured in just a few locations
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (see headnote)
  • 2 cups (about 2 ounces) packed child spinach, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves, crushed between your fingers
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, ideally no-salt-added, drained and rinsed
  • Butter, for serving (optionally available)
  • Recent parsley or cilantro sprigs, for serving (optionally available)
  • Plain yogurt, for serving (optionally available)

Carry a big (a minimum of 4 quart) pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. (It’s vital that the water tastes salty in order that it seasons the rice because it cooks.) Add the rice and dried lime, and stir to make sure the rice doesn’t keep on with the underside of the pot. Boil till the rice is al dente, about 10 minutes. Pour the rice and lime right into a sieve to empty. Rinse out the pot properly and dry it.

In the identical pot over medium-high warmth, warmth the olive oil till it shimmers. Add the scallions and cook dinner, stirring, till they begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook dinner, stirring, till wilted and vivid inexperienced, about 2 minutes.

Stir within the dill, parsley, fenugreek and some grinds of pepper. Gently fold within the rice, lime and kidney beans, permitting the greens to fall among the many grains. Cowl tightly, lower the warmth to low, and cook dinner — with out peeking! — for 12 minutes.

Uncover and, utilizing a fork, fluff the rice. Serve sizzling, family-style or on particular person plates, with a pat of butter on high, and contemporary herbs and yogurt on the aspect, if desired.

Per serving (2 cups rice)

Energy: 373; Complete Fats: 11 g; Saturated Fats: 2 g; Ldl cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 220 mg; Carbohydrates: 61 g; Dietary Fiber: 6 g; Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 10 g.

This evaluation is an estimate based mostly on obtainable substances and this preparation. It mustn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

From workers author G. Daniela Galarza.

Examined by Olga Massov; e-mail inquiries to

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Compensate for this week’s Eat Voraciously recipes:

Monday: Golden Chicken Vegetable Soup With Chickpeas

Wednesday: 30-Minute Red Lentil Soup

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