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Butter beans have a really lovely, soft texture, and a mild flavour that lends itself nicely to — well, literally anything. Saffron-infused rice helps transform simple ingredients into a gorgeous, hearty meal.

You will need

Serves 4

  • 1 cup rice, washed and drained
  • 7 strands saffron
  • 50ml boiling water
  • 50g sliced almonds roasted

For the stew

  • 40ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons (strips of zest only)
  • 3 long dry chillies
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tins butter beans, reserve 1 tin liquid
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10 green beans, halved
  • Salt and pepper

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15 mins to prep

  1. Step 1

    Boil the water and add to the saffron. (if you can grind the saffron to a powder and add the water, but not essential).

  2. Step 2

    Put the rice in a pan and add water to the rice so it is a knuckle over the rice, pour in the saffron water. Place the lid on high heat, bring to a boil, turn down to low and let simmer until the rice is cooked. If there is too much liquid and the rice is looking too wet, take the lid off.

  3. Step 3

    Add the oil to a pan on medium heat. Place in the lemon strips, bay leaf and dried chilli and cook briefly until the zest starts bubbling. Place in the onion and cook until softened and translucent, add the garlic and cook for another minute.

  4. Step 4

    Add chilli powder, cumin seeds and coriander seeds and butter beans. Stir through and allow the sauce to thicken slightly for a few minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Reduce the heat and add the cherry tomatoes and beans, warm though for 5 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Serve the rice and bean stew with a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and sliced almonds.

Recipe: Simon Toohey

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