1 cup of basmati rice
about 3 cups of water
6-7 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
5-6 mini tomatoes (they must be aromatic, that’s important for the taste)
1/2 orange, juice and zest
1/2 lemon, zest
50 ml vegan vegetable broth
1-2 tsp maple syrup
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 handful of pecans
1 handful of fresh basil
1 Pinch of potato starch, optional
Salt, pepper to taste
- Remove the seeds from the pomegranate, squeeze out the orange half, add the juice and the seeds to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer. Add the vegetable stock and continue to simmer until the pomegranate seeds become soft and glassy. Meanwhile add salt and pepper, after 10 minutes add the maple syrup.
- Dice the onions, grate the garlic, grate the zucchini on a coarse grater, quarter the tomatoes and scrape the inside out of the eggplant with a spoon and chop it finely. You can rub the eggplant with olive oil, and let it bake in the oven while you are cooking and fill it later with the rice.
- Now heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a second saucepan and roast the rice in it, until about 2/3 of the grains are nicely browned and start to get a nice popcorny smell.
- Then add a pinch of salt and water until the rice is covered by about 1 inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the rice has absorbed the liquid.
Depending on the stove, the time this takes can vary. If the rice is still too firm after that, pour in a little more water, stir, DO NOT COVER THE RICE WITH WATER, just add a little bit, and continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- When the liquid is gone a second time, remove the pan from the hot plate, fold a clean towel and cover the rice with it. Then press the lid firmly on top and let the rice steam for another 10 minutes. After that it tastes perfect!
- While the rice is still simmering, you can sautée the onions and the garlic with the remaining olive oil in a high, coated pan. Sautée until they have lightly browned. Then add the vegetables and continue sautéing them until cooked. Season with salt and pepper in between.
- When the rice is almost ready and the vegetables are still sautéeing, take a look at the pomegranate sauce. When the seeds have become soft, remove the saucepan from the stove, blend the sauce in a tall vessel for about 1 minute, then pour it back through a sieve into the saucepan and gently brush the pulp through the sieve so that the sauce will be free of any seed left-overs.
- Now the sauce should simmer for another 5 minutes on medium heat. If you like to have it a little thicker, sift half a teaspoon of potato starch into it while stirring. Season with salt, pepper, maple syrup, cinnamon and orange zest.
- Now mix the vegetables with the rice. Make sure that the rice: vegetable ratio is about 2: 3. Season again with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Now serve on a plate with pomegranate seeds, pecan nuts and basil and season with the sauce to taste.