A perfect accompaniment for grilled lamb, this fragrant spiced rice is packed with sweet raisins and crunchy nuts. The recipe uses saffron which is an expensive spice noted for its flowery flavour and golden colour; use 2tsp ground turmeric for a value alternative. This golden spinach, almond and raisin pilaf takes hardly any time to make but is bound to impress dinner guests.
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 small stick cinnamon
- 350g long grain white rice
- Pinch of saffron strands
- 900ml vegetable stock
- 150g raisins
- 50g baby spinach leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 75g unblanched almonds, roughly chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion with the cinnamon for 1 min. Add the rice and saffron and cook, stirring, for about 2 mins until the rice becomes opaque.
Pour over the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 mins.
Stir in the raisins and spinach, re-cover and cook for a further 5 mins. Remove from the heat and stand, covered, for 10 mins. Discard the cinnamon stick and season to taste.
To serve, stir the almonds into the rice and pile into a serving bowl. Serve immediately as an accompaniment to grilled or barbecued meat.
You can turn this accompaniment into a main course by adding 350g finely chopped cooked meat along with the raisins and spinach – make sure it is thoroughly hot before serving.