The other night I decided what to make for dinner around 5 o’clock. For someone who likes having a plan, that was late. A bag of chickpeas was thawing the in the fridge, so I made half a batch of hummus and then had to do something with the rest. Flipping to the index in the Jerusalem cookbook there it was, Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants and Herbs. I went to the cupboard. No wild rice. Just as well, I wasn’t gonna wait around for 45 minutes for it to cook anyway. Currants? Check. Herbs? Well, cilantro. Close enough. Time to riff.
Day 1, this is essentially a rice pilaf. In a search for Forbidden rice, I’d picked up some Bhutan red instead. It adds nice color, just a bit of nuttiness and it cooks up in about 20 minutes (just 1 cup rice w/ 1 3/4 c. water). The chickpeas, whether canned or thawed, you’re just heating through in a spice mixture with a bit of oil and then tossing everything together. I won’t say this is a 30-minute meal, but it’s close. (You’ve seen this video, right?!)
We had the pilaf alongside a little harissa-rubbed chicken with a citrus-beet salsa, another riff on a fish dish in Jerusalem. BTW – when using the harissa in a tube, make sure to turn on your fan to avoid the chile fumes as the chicken cooks. Hoo-wheeeee. Day 2, shred any leftover chicken, toss it into the rice and add some spinach for lunch leftovers.
By the way, if you’ve got a copy of Jerusalem, the #TastingJrslm crew is doing couscous this month. Head over to OMGYummy for the details.