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Morroccan Rice With Saffron and Pineapple
This nutty, aromatic, nutrition-rich, healthy and totally mouthwatering pilaf is going to make your dinner so exciting, that you'll want to learn more Moroccan recipes. Packed with the goodness of whole cashew nuts, the tang of lemon, the sweetness of pineapple, the juiciness of meat, the incomparable taste of olives and the fragrance of saffron, the recipe is a surefire candidate for your list of favorites. And once your palate gets a taste of the subtly spicy offerings from Morocco, you are hooked for life! Wait till you get hit in the heart by the aroma ... phewww.... I can't explain what it does to you... It takes over all your senses and holds your taste buds prisoners.. you shall find out soon...
To the cooking, then:
- Rice 1/2 kg (two glassfuls approx.)
- Boiled chickpeas 1 can
- 1 Chicken.
- Chicken stock 750 ml
- Whole Black Peppers, Cinnamon stick, A bay leaf, White cumin seeds, Black cardamom. To taste
- Lemon Juice 200 ml
- Olives 6 black and 6 green- pitted (more if you want)
- Coriander Seeds 1 Tbsp
- A bunch of Fresh Coriander stalks and leaves.(finely chop the stalks and coarsely chop the leaves)
- Garlic crushed 8 cloves
- Ginger- a 2.5 cm chunk
- Pineapple cut into medium size pieces- a cupful
- Cashew nuts- toasted- 1/2 a cup
- Yellow bell peppers- 2 large. Cut into large squares.
- 1 large red bell pepper- Chopped into thin strips about an inch long.
- Green chili paste- 1 teaspoon
- Onion-optional-1 medium sized, coarsely chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying and cooking
- Salt and freshly ground pepper-to taste
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, or get it done from the store. Boil in 1500 ml of water with 4 cloves of garlic, onions and the piece of ginger. Add a pinch of salt. Throw in whole black cardamom, white cumin seeds, whole black peppers and one cinnamon stick for enhanced flavor.
Cook on medium heat till the fluid is halved. Strain and store in an open utensil to cool for later use. Keep the Boiled Chicken pieces, of course.
Once cooled add the lemon juice.
Take the saffron and dip into a little bowl of lemon juice (50 ml) for half an hour.
Pour into the other liquids.
- First sprinkle the boiled chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground pepper, and pan-fry till gold. Keep aside.
- Now in a large wok fry the yellow bell peppers with the coriander seeds, 4 cloves of garlic and finely chopped fresh coriander stalks until the peppers are soft. Fry the chickpeas for a minute with the peppers. Add in the green chili paste.
- Fry dry rice in the wok until glistening. Time to add the pineapple pieces and strips of red pepper.
- Pour in the stock/lemon juice/saffron mix.
- Lid the wok. You can now bake the rice in medium oven. Or cook over low heat until the rice grains are plump.
- Remove lid, throw in the olives and pack the wok with the chicken pieces.
- Sprinkle with cashew nuts, coarsely chopped fresh coriander and cover again for 5 minutes.
- Serve alone or with a raita dip after mixing the pilaf with a flat spatula!
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