I love rice and beans. I got hooked when I tried Cuban rice and beans at a little restaurant on a single strip airport in Florida. From there, I decided that I would try it every time I see it on a menu. This recipe is a cross between Yellow Rice and Biryani.
I made up this dish on a whim, I wanted to use my spice mix, and I had some ground meat to use up. This is flavored with Middle Eastern spices and herbs which make it different than a rice and bean dish you might find in the Caribbean. I added single spices so you can make it if you don’t have the rose petals, for instance in the Advieh, to make that mixture.
Since rice and beans makes a complete vegetarian dish, you can leave out the meat in this recipe and serve it as a main dish. This is a Spice It Your Way dish, and a one pan plan. I love one pan meals. They are simple, and clean up is a breeze! You can substitute any ground meat and any variety of beans you happen to have in your pantry. Pine nuts, traditionally Mediterranean, can be substituted with any nut you like, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds would be great! If you don’t like cilantro, leave it out, you could substitute mint, I would only use half the amount, though, as mint can be overpowering. My Advieh seasoning for rice is a mixture of rose petals, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom and cloves or nutmeg.
The Best Middle Eastern Rice and Beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small Onion, chopped
- 1 Clove garlic, minced
- 1 lb. Ground lamb
- 1 cup Uncooked basmati rice, rinsed
- 1 tsp Advieh seasoning or more to taste
- 1 tsp Ground cumin Omit if using Advieh
- 1 tsp Ground coriander Omit if using Advieh
- 1/2 tsp Ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Ground cayenne pepper
- 3 cups Chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can Black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup Chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup Chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Pine nuts, or nut of your choice For garnish
Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Cook the ground lamb with the onion, garlic and spices in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until onion is soft and meat is cooked. It should be very fragrant. Drain off any excess fat.
Stir in the rice and toast for a few minutes. Add chicken stock and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Gently stir in cilantro and parsley, and top with pine nuts. Serve hot.
This looks like a lot of ingredients, but if you assemble and chop everything before hand, the recipe comes together quickly, and all you have to do is wait for it to cook!