Beetroot Pilaff

Rice can often be an afterthought to a meal – there only to soak up a sauce or make up the numbers. But rice is way more versatile than that. The Persians mastered many rice dishes which featured as elaborate centerpieces to decadent feasts. Both colourful and packed with taste these rices could take hours and hours to create. Here’s a dish which delivers on both colour and flavour that won’t take more than 30 minutes to prepare. Beetroot is like tasty paint and it’s the perfect way to really bring anything to life. In this dish we get the earthy, sweetness of the beetroot, along with it’s vibrant ruby red colour. Delicious!

1 cup basmati rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion (very finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 cup beetroot (grated)
1 teaspoon ground baharat mix
salt & pepper
fresh lemon juice (optional)

Cook the rice then leave to cool.

Heat a frying pan with the olive oil then fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the baharat and stir briefly then add the beetroot and 4 tablespoons of water and fry for a further 4-5 minutes until soft. Stir in the rice well to coat all the grains. Let it warm through then season with salt & pepper to your taste before removing from the heat and serving. I like to squeeze a little lemon juice over at the last minute but it’s not essential.

Serve hot or cold alongside meat or fish.

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