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Author Notes: One of my favorite Lebanese dish that is sadly not available everywhere. Its basically almond pilaf served with a very flavorful vegetable stew and hummus. The dish has really rich flavors of spices, lemon, parsley and mint and is served with a beautiful pink turnip pickle (turnip in vinegar) and fatoush salad. Its important to use basmati rice in this dish as you need the rice grains to be long. Also,, there is a spice mix called "sumack" (available at middle eastern stores) that goes into the recipe- but it can be made even without it. —Pallavi Gupta
- 1/2 Zucchini
- 1 Carrot
- 2 Potatoes
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1/2 can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup vermicelli
- handful of slivered almonds
- juice of one lemon
- 4 cloves of garlic
- olive oil for stir frying
- 1 teaspoon mint (dry)
- 2 teaspoons oregano (dry)
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons parsley (dry)
- 4 teaspoons sumack (if available)
- Dry roast the vermicelli in a pan till it turns golden.
- In a rice cooker or in a deep pan add 1/2 cup washed rice, 1 cup water, very little salt and few drops of olive oil and cook covered over medium heat. When the rice is cooked halfway add the vermicelli and continue to cook. Once cooked through, fluff with a fork and add toasted slivered almonds.
- Using a mortar and pestle crush garlic with 1 tbs olive oil, juice of half a lemon, green chili and some salt. Crush till it turn into a fine paste/sauce like consistency.
- In a small bowl mix all the spices together (except for salt) and keep aside. .
- In a large pan heat 1 tbs of olive oil stir fry the onions til they turn a lighter shade of brown. Take out form the pan and spread it on a plate- keep aside.
- Return the same pan to the heat and cook the garlic sauce till the garlic turns brown. Add a couple tbs of olive oil, then add the veggies and stir fry for about 4 min.
- Add the spice mixture, juice of half a lemon and continue to stir for another minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes, stir for 30 sec- till it coats all the veggies, cover and cook till the veggies are tender.
- Mix in the sauteed onion and taste to adjust the salt.
- To serve- In a round plate spread the hummus in the center in a circular motion, arrange 2 spoonful of rice- like a ring around the hummus and finally put a ring of the vegetable stew around the rice.