Perfect as a side dish alongside some grilled chicken or lamb or used simply as a standalone dish, this rice pilaf is full of flavour! The sweetness of the caramelised onions with the zesty tang of the orange work so well with the aromatic, warming flavours of the Moroccan Ras el Hanout. I love adding pistachios to this not only for their buttery, nutty flavour but the wonderful textural crunch they bring juxtaposing with the softness of the fluffy rice – you can, however, use almonds or macadamias, or omit completely if there’s an allergy.
This aromatic dish is perfectly balanced and a wonderful Moroccan side dish to change up from the classic couscous.
Spices used in this recipe
Moroccan Ras el Hanout – Med
Moroccan Ras el Hanout translates in Arabic to “top of the shop”, implying the spices used are the best the seller has to offer. Our mixture has 14 different herbs and spices delicately balancing the sweet and savoury flavours to give it a complex and well-rounded flavour without being overly spicy.$3.45
Place a heavy-based pan on low heat and add 2tbsp of the butter with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Once melted, add your onion slices with a generous pinch of salt and toss in the oil/butter until coated then leave to sit. Saute on low heat for at least 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they’re super soft and golden. Timing depends on your pan and stove etc so keep an eye on them.
Meanwhile, place a heavy-based pot on low heat. Add your remaining butter with a drizzle of olive oil along with your garlic, Ras el Hanout and stir until the butter is melted and you can smell your spices blooming. Add the orange zest and rice and toast with the butter and spices for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid the grains sticking.
Pour in your orange juice and stock in, stirring just once to incorporate then bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Once done, turn the heat off but don’t remove the lid just yet – allow to stand off the heat with the lid firmly on for 10 minutes – the rice will continue cooking in its own steam.
When the time is up, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in your caramelised onion and chopped pistachios and enjoy!