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Rice bowl with swiss chard, barberries and pistachio

Servings: 2
Author: Shelly


  • cups basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons zereshk berries (dried barberries )
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin – optional
  • 1 bunch swiss chard or kale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 tablespoons toasted pistachio (or almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds)
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves or dill
  • 1 avocado


  • Cook the rice (see instructions below.) While the rice is cooking, soak the swiss chard in cold water for 2 – 3 minutes to remove sand or bugs. Drain and dry with a salad spinner. Chop it and set aside.
  • Drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Crush the garlic straight into the skillet. Add cumin and zereshk and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Don’t let the garlic and berries to scorch, lower the heat if necessary. Add the chard into the skillet and continue to sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pistachios, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and toss. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the rice into the skillet and toss. Transfer to a bowl. Chop the herbs and slice the avocado and add to the bowl, and gently toss. Drizzle some olive, taste and correct seasoning, and serve.


How to make the perfect Basmati rice:
1 cup basmati rice
1¼ cups water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 cardamons pods – optional
Normally I would rinse the rice in a fine colander under cold running water but because of the drought, I soak the rice in cold water for 5 – 10 minutes, then give it a quick rinse before I add it to the boiling water.
In a medium sauce pan, bring the water and salt to a rapid boil.
Stir the rice and cardamon pods into the boiling water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 12 minutes. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise the steam will escape! Remove from the heat, but keep the lid on for an extra 5 minutes before you serve.