Brown rice and potato pilaf
Brown food is a bit of a running joke on instagram but the fact is that monotone brown or beige dishes are often the most delicious. That's certainly the case with Sam and Sam Clark's brown rice and potato pilaf from their most recent book Moro Easy.
"The double carbs are the key to the magic of this pilaf. The two basic ingredients combine to create an opulent and luxurious texture. Perfect with labneh, mushrooms, sweet herbs and chilli butter (page 67), spinach, pine nuts and sultanas (page 133), lamb chops (page 240), duck breasts with walnut and pomegranate sauce (page 226) and roast chicken with fenugreek and coriander marinade (page 222). (You now see why you need the book!)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice or baharat
2 leeks (white parts only) thinly sliced
500g potatoes, peeled, cut into 1.5cm cubes and tossed with 1 teaspoon salt
250g brown rice
700ml hot vegetable stock (2 tablespoons Marigold vegetable powder mixed with boiling water)
4 tablespoons crispy fried onions
150g Greek yoghurt, mixed with 1 garlic clove, crushed with a little salt
In a medium heavy-based saucepan, heat the butter over a medium heat. When it foams, add the cinnamon and allspice, fry for 30 seconds, then add the leeks and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Fry for 12–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft and sweet.
Add the potatoes and rice, stir well, then pour over the hot stock. Cover with a circle of baking paper and a lid and simmer gently for 30–40 minutes, or until the potatoes and rice are cooked. Remove from the heat, check for seasoning and let it rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the crispy onions on top and the yoghurt on the side.
What to drink: It's not a question of matching the pilaf as the dish it accompanies though I think we're probably talking about a red. I'd be inclined to go for a rioja reserva if it was lamb chops and a new world pinot noir with the labneh and mushrooms.
Extracted from Moro Easy by Sam & Sam Clark, published by Ebury Press at £30. Photograph © Susan Bell
Footnote: Roopa Gulati has a brilliant recipe for crispy onions in her book India in the World Vegetarian series. Basically you slice a couple of large onions, sprinkle them with salt, leave them for at least an hour, drain them and pat them dry then deep fry them in batches. But you should get the book which is brilliant. FB
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