This recipe is a new discovery – I love experimenting with Middle Eastern cooking and ingredients, but have never knowingly tried Jordanian food before. The combination of filing rice and the sweet roasted cauliflower and squash worked brilliantly and made for a very satisfying Autumn lunch!
2 large onions, finely sliced
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1200ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon
2 tsp tomato puree
A pinch of saffron
400g long grain or basmati rice
Florets from a medium cauliflower
A medium butternut squash, peeled and sliced
3 courgettes, sliced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
Seeds from 4 cardamom pods, ground
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
A small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the cauliflower florets and squash slices on a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
2. Add the tomato purée and saffron to the prepared stock and set aside.
3. In a large saucepan or wok, gently heat 1 tbs of the olive oil. Arrange the rings of onion around the pan, followed by the courgette slices. Mix together the spices mix with a good pinch of salt then sprinkle about a third of the mix over the courgette and onions.
4. Add a layer of rice, then the roasted cauliflower and squash, and more spice mix. Repeat until the vegetables are used up then finish with a layer of rice. Add the stock over the whole mixture.
5. Bring to the boil, then simmer and cover for about 30 minutes, until the rice is thoroughly cooked and expanded. Turn off the heat and leave for a further 15 minutes.
6. Invert the mixture onto a large plate (I messed this up a bit, but it looks fine a bit jumbled up!)
7. Sprinkle with lots of freshly chopped coriander and serve immediately with naan or flatbreads.