We are into the second week of BM 79 . This week I have chosen to cook Lebanese Cuisine . When we talk of Lebanese Food , the first few dishes that come to my mind are Pita bread, falafel and Hummus . All three my favourite ! For this marathon I did not want the regular famous dishes . I realised that Lebanese diet focuses on herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients (the Lebanese rarely eat leftovers), relying less on heavy sauces. Mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the most common seasonings of this cuisine .
Fruit, vegetables, rice, and bread out-weigh the amount of meat eaten in the average Lebanese meal. However, the most commonly eaten meats, poultry and lamb, make up some of the country’s most popular dishes. The national dish, kibbeh (or kibbe ), consists of a ground lamb and cracked wheat , a dish I made for one of the Mega Marathons . Yes , I made changes and made it into a vegetarian Kibbeh.
For today it is Lebanese Spinach and Bean Rice . The recipe is from the treasure of Tarla Dalal. I made these rice for a Sunday lunch . I knew my family would like , but I was not sure of myself . You see I am not very fond of spinach , also the rice had only one spice .. cuminseed powder . I kept saying Let me cook something else , may be you guys don’t like it , but hubby was confident and refused . I could not dare to say something like I might not like .. so it was just the Spinach and Bean Rice .
First reaction came from hubby … excellent , in fact everyone said rice is really good . I had a bite and I couldn’t believe that this rice had turned out so flavourful . It was actually delicious , protein packed and a super one pot meal . However Juhi dressed up the rice with cheese which took them to a different level .
Spinach and Bean Rice
1 1/4 cups basmati rice
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
1 green chilly , finely chopped
1 cup spinach , finely chopped
1/2 cup kidney beans , cooked
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
Boil the rice with salt, cook till 90% done .Drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan , add garlic and green chilly .Saute for a few seconds .
Add spinach and sauté till all moisture is gone .
Add a tsp of oil to another pan and toss the kidney beans .
Add rice, kidney beans , cumin powder to the sautéed spinach .
Toss well and serve hot .
You could grate some cheese over the rice , it definitely brings out the flavours.