Cockle and dill rice
- August 2023
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 15 min. Simmering time 10 min, plus standing
Zainab Pirzada’s cockle rice recipe is inspired by her mum’s signature spicy prawn and dill rice, a family favourite in Karachi, Pakistan. Dill and rice are a wonderful flavour combination and sustainable cockles are inexpensive in the UK and make a wonderful addition.
Photography: David Loftus
- 15g (1.5g saturated)
- 84g (5.1g sugars)
- 400g basmati rice
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 6 garlic cloves
- 40g ginger
- 6 green finger chillies
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1kg raw cockles (in their shells), rinsed
- Large bunch dill, chopped
- ½ lemon, finely sliced into wheels
- Start by rinsing the rice in cold water until it runs clear. Set aside to drain.
- Put a large, lidded saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat and pour in the oil. Add the onions and fry for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Meanwhile, put the garlic, ginger, green chillies and a splash of water in a blender and whizz until smooth.
- Add the blended paste to the onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, cumin seeds and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes. Add 900ml water and bring to the boil. Add the drained rice, cockles and dill. Cook over a low medium heat until about 80% of the water has evaporated (about 5 minutes).
- Put the lid on, reduce the heat to very low and let it cook for a further 10 minutes (without taking the lid off). Remove from the heat and leave it for 10 minutes more, keeping the lid on. Serve scattered with the lemon slices.
Easy swaps You can also use sustainably sourced mussels or clams for this recipe.
Cockles are harvested around the UK’s shores and work well as a swap for prawns. They both have a soft, slightly sweet and tender texture and are packed with B12 and a good source of essential omega-3s
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