Hahaha na, the reason why I turned all Middle-Eastern on you is because I made Habibi Rice! What is Habibi rice? Well it's a recipe from my good friend George Calombaris who got it off his good friend Shane Delia. Yes we are good friends, he did pick ME out of the crowd to go on stage at the Good Food and Wine Show after all. Then he cooked for me (as did Gary). Clearly we are tight on many levels.
Hehe this recipe comes from George and Gary's book 'Your Place or Mine'. When I initially got this book I gotta admit I wasn't overly impressed with the recipes or the layout of the book. Just to give you a quick idea, the book is split up into many different ingredients to which both Gary and George have provided one of their own recipes for. Flicked through it the first time and sorta went 'meh'. But now that I've looked over it a few times I can see quite a few things in there I could and would love to make. And one of them was George's Habibi Rice! I can't resist food with Middle-Eastern influence....
You may be wondering why I added the yalla to the post title. Well that phrase was used extensively by my family and I and many of our friends when we lived overseas in Saudi Arabia years ago. So naturally when I see the word Habibi I just add Yalla to the start of it =P. It probably also explains why I love Lebanese and Middle-Eastern food so much.
This rice is delicious, but make sure it's properly seasoned. I absolutely love pine nuts and together with the almonds they give the dish this awesome roasted nutty flavour. The reason you should make sure this is seasoned properly is because I think the taste of the spices comes through much stronger when you add a bit of salt. I could probably eat this by itself, and it's probably a good idea since it's not the healthiest thing you could eat =P. I'm so gonna have a heart attack by the time I turn 25 =S.
Yalla Habibi!! Go make this!!
Recipe by George Calombaris from 'Your Place or Mine'
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
50g pine nuts
50g flaked almonds
100g clarified butter (made by heating up a whole load of unsalted butter in the microwave, and just measuring out the right amount of the butterfat which is the liquid stuff - discard the milk solids which is the white stuff that settles on the bottom)
50g angel hair pasta
1/2 onion, finely diced
250g basmati rice
750ml hot water
Sea salt flakes (I used normal table salt)
1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Place coriander and cumin seeds on baking tray and roast for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Crush with mortar and pestle (DO NOT grind all the way down! I did this and i think it's better if you leave some of the seeds intact)
2. Reduce oven temp to 170C (338F). Place pine nuts and almonds on baking tray and roast for 7-10 minutes or until light golden brown.
3. Heat clarified butter in frying pan over medium heat, then break in angel hair pasta in 1cm lengths and fry until golden brown, approx. 2 minutes. Add onion and rice and cook until rice starts to absorb butter and onion begins to soften, approx. 5 minutes.
4. Add spices, nuts and water and bring to boil. Cover and cook over low heat until water has been absorbed and rice is tender, approx. 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes.
5. Fluff with a fork, stir in salt to taste and serve.
You know now that I think about it you could probably use ghee instead of making your own clarified butter...should double check that.
Enjoy =D xx