Camargue Rice Kufteh

OK, so I kind of discovered these by accident. I made some katteh, which is what Iranians call overcooked rice. This is not such a bad thing in itself; in fact in the North of Iran they actually make katteh deliberately and regard it as a delicacy. But it is annoying when you create it unintentionally, especially if you had wanted al dente rice in the first place.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. There is rarely an excuse for throwing food away, and mistakes can usually be turned to an advantage. The rice in question was Camargue red, but this recipe can be made with any slightly overcooked rice: they all contain starch which is released during the cooking process – the more the stuff cooks, the gloopier it becomes. These patties can be served as an accompaniment (rice cakes instead of rice), or you can add a tomatoey chilli sauce and serve them as a starter.

To serve 6:

  • 400g (raw weight) overcooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (or less if you’re a wuss)
  • salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 3 medium toms, washed and diced
  • 1/3 cucumber, washed and diced
  • 2 spring onions, washed and diced
  • handful of chopped herbs of choice
  • lemon juice, squirt thereof
  • salt and pepper

To Fry:

  • oil
  • chick pea flour (or regular flour: but chick pea flour has a nice nutty flavour)
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder (or turmeric)

Pinnies on? Squidge the rice together (if if doesn’t hold together it is not overcooked rice – but ho hum, just add an egg), and then add the spices and season to taste.

Toss all the ingredients for the filling together (it is basically a Shirazi salad, but you can vary the contents according to whatever salad stuff you have in your fridge).

Shape the rice mixture into balls, poke a hole in the middle of each with your finger, and spoon some of the chopped veg into the middle, pinching the rice up around it so that the salad is contained inside.

Pour some oil into a frying pan so that the bottom is covered by about 1mm and heat it. Sift the flour and curry powder together, and roll each of the kufteh in it before lowering them into the hot oil. Fry each one until it is golden all over before scooping it out and draining it on some kitchen paper.

Piccie to follow next time I overcook the rice….

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