This dish is so beautiful and so delicious that it is a great dish to serve with your show-stopper for a special occasion. The jeweled rice always impresses and it reminds me of Christmases of my childhood. I would often only eat this dish… with lots of yoghurt.
This dish complements the stuffed chicken so perfectly, so make up a big batch and invite your friends over.
1 cup basmati rice, soaked and rinsed
1 vermicelli nest
2 cups water
500g ground beef
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 tbsp paprika
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
A few glugs of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 handful of almonds and pine nuts, toasted
1 handful of pomegranate
Some chopped flat-leaf parsley
Prepare the meat by frying it in the olive oil and once browned, add all the spices and continue to fry until the meat has dried off.
Now the rice. Put the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and break up the vermicelli into it. Once the vermicelli browns, add the rinsed rice and coat in the vermicelli. Add the two cups of water, some salt and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and cover for about 12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
Assemble the dish by putting the rice onto a serving plate, then layer on the meat and then scatter over the nuts, pomegranate and parsley.
Photograph: Mark Kensett