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BAZELLA W RIZ

Lebanese stew with peas with rice (bazella w riz).
This is a classic Lebanese recipe. It is a hearty, spiced stew that is easy to prepare, and you simply cannot enjoy it without the revered rice pilaf with vermicelli.

Serves 4–6
Preparation 20min
Cooking 45min
Skill level Easy

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400 g beef or lamb mince
2 tsp baharat spice mix (see below)
2 tsp salt
150 g carrots, cut into ½ cm pieces
2 tbsp tomato paste
375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
1½ cups frozen peas
Greek yoghurt, to serve

Rice
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup broken vermicelli pasta
1 litre (4 cups) boiling water
2 cups medium grain rice, washed and drained
2 tsp salt

Spices
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 8–10 minutes until starting to turn golden.  Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the mince and cook, breaking up lumps with the back of a spoon, for 4–5 minutes until browned. Add the 2 tsp spices and 1 tsp salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrot and tomato paste, stir to combine then add the remaining 1 tsp salt and the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 4–5 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir through the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, to make the rice, heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the vermicelli and fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring, until golden.

Immediately add the water, rice, and salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 12–14 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice and pasta are tender.

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