Kafta with Lebanese Rice
FEATURING MONJAY MEZZA’S KAFTA
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Kafta with Lebanese rice has to be one of the simplest, cheapest and most satisfying dishes you can put on the table. Using our own Kafta, already spiced and grilled to perfection, further reduces the time and effort involved.
When you see what ingredients are used in our Lebanese rice recipe, you might think it takes ‘simple’ a little too far. Rice, vermicelli, olive oil – that’s it. You might wonder where the flavour is but – trust us – it’s there. The key is frying the vermicelli and rice in the olive oil before adding the water; that’s what produces that lovely nutty flavour Lebanese rice is renowned for.
A pitfall for many is the fluffy rice – a key to any Levantine dish. Too often, the rice turns out stodgy and sticky, a result of too much starch. Overcome this by using long grain rice and rinsing it in a colander or sieve until the water runs clear. This will wash away some of the starch and give you a fighting chance of achieving the holy grail of light, fluffy rice.
- I ½ cups of long grain rice (like Basmati)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ¼ cup of wheat vermicelli
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ cup of slivered almonds, toasted briefly in a dry frying pan
- A handful of parsley, chopped
- 12-pack of Monjay’s Kafta
Rinse the uncooked rice in plenty of cold water; you want to wash off as much starch as you can in order to achieve that light, fluffy texture at the end. Put the rice aside to drain.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and, when hot, add the vermicelli. Stir frequently; you want to brown the vermicelli evenly without burning it. This is where that delicious nutty flavour comes from.
Throw in the rice and stir it around, too, letting it fry a little in the olive oil – this will further enhance that nutty flavour. Did we mention that we’re after a nutty flavour?
Making sure the rice is well coated in the oil will also help it achieve fluffy status when cooked.
Add a teaspoon of salt and three cups of water (you want around twice as much water as uncooked rice, so adjust accordingly). Wait ‘til it comes to a simmer and then reduce the heat as low as it can go and cover.
It will most likely be done after around 15 minutes, but check it to make sure. When it is done, let it sit off the heat with the lid on for a further five minutes, then fluff it with a fork or a pair of chopsticks.
Stir through the cinnamon, then tip on to a platter.
You can reheat the kafta in a frying pan or in the oven. When hot, place them on top of the rice and scatter it all with the almonds and parsley.
Tip: serve our Kafta with Lebanese Rice alongside one of our dips, such as Labneh with Zataar, Hummus Dip or – for an extra kick – our famous Garlic Dip.
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