Spicy vegetable pilau with cucumber raita
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 2
Replace rice with freekeh for a deliciously different, low-calorie one-pot with red pepper and sweet sultanas
For the pilau
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 large onion , quartered and sliced
- thumb-sized piece ginger , chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- seeds from 8 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 red chilli , halved, deseeded and sliced
- 1 large red pepper , deseeded and diced
- 50g freekeh
- 350ml vegetable stock (made with 2 tsp reduced-salt bouillon powder)
- 25g sultanas
- ½ pack coriander , chopped
- 40g cashew nuts
For the raita
- STEP 1
Chop the garlic for the pilau and set aside. Finely grate the garlic for the raita and put in a bowl. Heat the oil for the pilau in a large open pan, and fry the onion and ginger for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the whole and ground spices, and cook for a few secs to release their aromas. Add the chilli, red pepper and freekeh, stir briefly, then tip in the stock and sultanas. Simmer for 15 mins until the freekeh is tender but still nutty, adding the chopped garlic for the final 2 mins. The stock should have reduced and absorbed into the freekeh now.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, finish the raita by stirring the yogurt, cucumber and mint into the grated garlic.
- STEP 3
When the pilau is cooked, stir in the coriander and cashews, and serve with the raita.
HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR GRAINS
‘Activating’ grains, nuts, seeds and pulses make them easier to digest, and ensures that you get maximum nutrition from them. To do this, place them in a glass or ceramic bowl with double the volume of cold, filtered water. Cover and leave at room temperature for eight hours or overnight, then drain and rinse before use. Will keep for up to three days in the fridge, just rinse again before using.