You’ve just upped your rice game
This Green Rice dish with the cucumber dill yoghurt sauce is a delight. Not to mention a magnificent option for rice dishes. When I mention to my family that I’m making rice for a meal, I usually get a lack-luster reply or even worse a roll of the eyes followed by a sigh. For the most part, I agree. Rice is hard to make unique, different and above all, interesting. But, my hats off to the Middle-Eastern communities who in fact do pack a very powerful rice. The alternative versions of rice they offer in their cuisine is enough to make you fall in love all over again with this ho-hum grain.
I worked with a gal from Iraq, she was Assyrian and migrated to Germany with her family. From Germany, they moved to California. We used to eat lunch together, and every day, I couldn’t wait to see what she had packed for the day. Her mom always made her lunch. Her lunch was always enviable. Honestly.
The many faces of rice
Rice was very often on the menu for my co-worker Nadia. The rice could be a spicy rice with a nice amount of fat added to it, and usually topped with a meat sauce. Sometimes with a vegetable sauce, other times it was like this dish, the Green Rice, topped with a cucumber dill yoghurt sauce. Many times the rice is cooked with the meat, or with the broth from the cooked meat. Additionally, spice and herbs tie their dishes very well together.
This dish was adapted from HRS The Duchess of Sussex, a.k.a. Meghan Markle. She published a community cookbook “Together”, to aid in the support for the victims of the Grenfall Tower fire. Most of the women are from regions in the Middle-East. There’s many recipes I’ve tried and loved here. Great cookbook full of inspiration and flavor.
Green Rice with Cucumber, Dill and Yoghurt Sauce
- 500 grams lamb or beef cubes cut into cubes
- 1 ltr chicken stock
- 300 grams basamati rice rinsed and soaked
- 250 grams frozen broad beans or frozen green beans
- 4 TBS sunflower oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 40 grams fresh dill
- 2 TBS dry dill
For the cucumber dill and yoghurt sauce
- 1 green cucumber grated coarse
- 500 grams full-fat yoghurt I like greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1-2 pinch salt and pepper
- Place the cut meat in a stock pot and bring to boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.
- wash the rice and leave soak for 30 minutes. Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Remove outer skins. (note: I did not do this step. I just added mine in the rice to cook)
- when the meat is cooked, drain and reserve the stock. Heat with half the oil in a heavy based pan the garlic. Add the cooked meat and fry together for about 5 min. Add the beans and half the fresh and dried dill and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the oil on low and add the drained rice to the pan. Stir until well coated with the oil. Add 500 ml of the meat stock. Bring to simmer, cover with lid and turn to lowest setting for 30 min.
- meanwhile, make the yoghurt sauce. Mix the grated cucumber and yoghurt in a bowl. Season to taste. Sprinkle with the dried dill and drizzle with olive oil.
- when the rice is ready, stir with a fork. Add the rest of the dill, the meat, beans and stir gently. Add a little of the reserved stock if you need to add moisture and cook on low heat for about 5 min. Serve and enjoy.