Monday, August 17, 2009

Dill Rice

There is a local chain of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurants in Chicago that serves the best dill rice I have ever tasted. Large, individual grains of rice infused with the fresh grassy flavor of the fresh dill, with an occasional lima bean thrown in for that extra bump of texture and earthiness.

The rest of the food at Reza's is quite good, too, but it is the dill rice that stands out. I know I'm not the only one who thinks so, because many people find their way to my little ol' blog in search of the recipe. They end up here because I wrote a post back when this was still a knitting blog, when my friend and I stopped at Reza's for dinner on the way to a knitting guild meeting, and I mentioned the dill rice. I can only imagine their disappointment at getting to my knitting post and finding no recipe. I have felt bad about that, but what could I do?

Ok . . . wait for it . . . why, I could take a stab at making some dill rice of my own, natch. So I bought some fresh dill at the green market and went to work. And hit the jackpot on the first try.

Dill rice adds a fresh dimension to just about any main dish you serve. It's a no-brainer with salmon and peas, but it adds an unexpected dimension to Spicy Indian Channa Dal Curry and other Indian dishes. It's the perfect foil for skirt steak. And it's just as good all by itself.

This is really more of a method than a recipe. It works well with my brown basmati rice, but you could make it with whatever form of rice you are most comfortable using.

Serves 4

1 cup rice
Water per package instructions
2-3 Tbsp fresh chopped dill
1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to package directions. When the rice is finished, add the dill and replace the cover, letting it sit for five minutes. Remove the cover, add the olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together before serving.

  • Add 1/2 cup of frozen peas along with the dill.
  • 1/2 cup of corn along with the dill
  • Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Add the zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Use your imagination!

    Usha said...

    This looks very inviting and flavorful, I have never paired dill with rice sounds interesting :-)

    dejamo said...

    You should definitely try it, Usha. Dill has become my herb of the season, and it really brightens up the rice.

    Unknown said...

    i'm sorry that looks really bad. first you used sticky sushi rice. not the right stuff. it is full of starch and too wet.
    get yourself some good quality extra long grain basmati. rinse it, soak it for an hour or two. turn on the heat and start boiling the rice. after only a couple minutes of boiling(the rice will still be pretty crunchy), take it off the stove and pour it into a collander to drain it. put olive oil in your largest skillet, heat it up, and put in your drained rice, spreading it out flat. turn the heat down to low, find a wok lid or anything to cover it and hold in some steam. the idea here is to cook the rice so it comes out nice and dry and firm. you need to stir it around occasionally. by the time it is done(half hour or more), a little rice will have stuck to the bottom of the pan. that is normal
    dried dill works just as well as fresh; dill is one spice that dries and keeps wonderfully...
    ps i used to love rezas and their rice

    dejamo said...

    I'm sorry you think it looks bad, nyazzip, but it is definitely not sushi rice. It is brown rice, and that is usually my rice of choice.

    It was not my intention to recreate Reza's recipe, just to give a version that works for me. Your method does sound like it would produce something closer to Reza's version, but mine is fast and simple, and I am happy with it.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Alan Ashbaugh said...

    Tried it. Delicious.

    dejamo said...

    I'm glad you liked it, Alan. Thank you for letting me know!

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