from The Natural Vitality Chef
This recipe is inspired by the fascinating pepper workshop which I attended in March. Passion Berry Pepper, which is grown in Ethiopia, is available from Steenbergs of Yorkshire who organised the workshop and has a wonderfully soft, velvety flavour, redolent of strawberries and raspberries as well as passion fruit. Its heat is bold yet gentle and combines faultlessly with the rich earthiness of the rice, the tropical sweetness of the mango and the tang of the pomegranate.
This pepper does not grind well in a normal pepper grinder and needs to be ground medium fine in a mortar or an electric spice grinder.
Black venus rice, also known as venere rice, is rich in antioxidants and can be purchased in most health shops as well as online. It cooks to a dramatic black hue, with iridescent shades of violet.
This rice recipe goes particularly well with spicy dishes such as chilli garlic prawns or jerk chicken. It is also very good cold, as a salad, in which case cool the rice completely before mixing it with the other ingredients.
BLACK VENUS RICE WITH POMEGRANATE, MANGO AND PASSION BERRY PEPPER
15 ml/1 tbsp coconut oil
175 g/6 oz black venus rice
5 ml/1 tsp fine sea salt
50 g/2 oz shelled pistachio nuts
30 g/1 1/4 oz red onions, peeled and finely chopped
Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
1 small ripe mango, peeled and diced
30 ml/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30 ml/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
15 g/1/2 oz fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Passion Berry pepper, ground medium coarse in a mortar or electric spice grinder
Fine sea salt
Fill the kettle and bring to the boil. Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan, add the rice and salt and stir-fry for two or three minutes. Pour in enough boiling water to cover by a good 5 cm/2 in, top with the lid, turn the heat right down and leave to cook for about 50 minutes, until tender.
Place the pistachios in a small frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for three to four minutes. This will bring out their flavour without ruining their bright green colour.
While the rice is cooking, gently mix the nuts and all the remaining ingredients except the pepper and salt in a roomy bowl.
Set aside 1 tsp of the pepper.
When the rice is ready, drain it well and stir it into the fruit and nut mixture along with 1 tbsp of pepper. Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Sprinkle the remaining pepper over the top and serve immediately.
Check out my other pepper recipes: Tenderstem broccoli with Ginger, Chilli and Timur Pepper; Indonesian Stir-Fried Prawns with Mango and Andaliman Pepper and Tunisian Carrot Purée with Red Long Pepper