Chickpea, date and pine nut pilau

Pilau is a mixture of pulses, dried fruit, nuts or seeds, spices and rice. Using brown rice intensifies the nutty flavour and texture.
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* 150g (5oz) dried green lentils, soaked in water overnight
* 4 tsp coriander seeds
* 1in/2.5cm piece of cinnamon
* 8 cloves
* 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 60g (2oz) butter
* 1 large red onion, sliced
* 3 medium carrots, cut into small cubes
* 60g (2oz) pine nuts
* 30g (1oz) pumpkin seeds
* 60g (2oz) raisins
* 90g (3oz) dates, cut into small pieces
* 300g (10 oz) cooked brown rice
* 350g (12oz) cooked chickpeas
* 150ml (5fl oz) vegetable stock
* 2 large handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
* handful of mint leaves, chopped
* salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Cook the soaked green lentils in boiling water until soft, drain and set to one side.

2. Meanwhile dry roast the coriander seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in a small frying pan until aromatic. Remove from the pan and grind to a powder.

3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a wok. When hot, add the sliced onion and carrots, and sauté until soft.

4. Add the pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins and dates, and fry until the pine nuts are golden. Stir in the spices and fry for one minute.

5. Add the cooked lentils, cooked brown rice, cooked chickpeas and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, cover the wok and gently steam until all the stock has been absorbed.

6. Finally stir in the chopped parsley and mint leaves, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

More recipes from World Food Café:
Crunchy sweet and sour salad
Apple, date and cinnamon cake

Extracted from World Food Café: Vegetarian Bible by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott, published Frances Lincoln, £20 


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