Tag Archives: broad beans


Rice, broad beans & braised tofu

Rice, broadbeans & parsley(6)

It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which rice lends itself to variation with good results and how well it marries with most vegetables, tofu, seitan, lentils, beans dry fruit and nuts.

Rice makes a vital contribution to our diet and specially vegans and vegetarians are very fortunate to have this humble, unassuming grain as part of their culinary repertoire. It cheerfully accommodates and adjusts to suit tastes and palates all round the world – I feel blessed…….

Layering rice with a central layer of some sort of stew or spicy mixture is known as biryani as opposed to rice cooked in broth with vegetables, which is called pilau or pilaf. Biryani was traditionally prepared for feasts or special occasions and as such good quality Basmati rice was used.  However, these days most families will have it once a week – Sunday lunch perhaps?

For this recipe I made a mild stew with lots of fried onions to add sweetness, broad beans and flat leaf parsley and replaced tomatoes with soya yogurt.  It turned out to be a delicious and very satisfying meal and required very little besides a simple salad of onion, tomatoes and cucumber.

Serves 4


2 small cups (about 300 grams) Basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour
3 medium onions, sliced
5 tablespoons oil
2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
5 tablespoons natural soya yogurt (I use Sojade)
1 good cup broad beans (I used frozen)
200 grams button mushrooms
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tin Marigold braised tofu, cut into 1 inch pieces + good pinch of turmeric


  • In 1 tablespoon oil fry the button mushrooms, remove and set aside
  • Fry onion in 3 tablespoons oil until golden
  • Add spices, yogurt, beans, a little salt and half cup of water
  • Cover and cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until broad beans are cooked
  • Add fried mushrooms and parsley to the beans, cook for a further 2 minutes

Rice, broadbeans & parsley(2)

  • Rinse the rice and bring to a boil in plenty of water with 1 teaspoon salt
  • Boil for about 3-4 minutes until the rice is almost cooked but still slightly al dente and strain in a colander
  • Put about ¼ cup of water in the pan and 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Lay about one-third of the rice in the pan and tip the broad beans on the rice
  • Add rest of the rice to the pan to complete the layering
  • Cover the lid with a clean tea cloth and place firmly on saucepan

Veggie biryani(8)

  • Steam rice on medium heat for 5 minutes, then lower heat to low and continue to steam for a further 15 minutes by which time the rice should be steaming

Rice, broadbeans & parsley(3)

  • Separately fry the braised tofu with a good pinch of turmeric for about 5 minutes
  • Place the fried braised tofu on the rice before serving


Rice, broadbeans & parsley(4)


Stir fry rice, broad beans & herbs

Rice, broadbeans & parsley

On today’s menu, rice, broad beans & herbs – deliciously fragrant herbs and the smell wafts through the house drawing everyone to the kitchen! My upstairs neighbour always tells me how she loves the smell of my cooking floating up – makes her hungry which is always a good sign.

Rice is our staple at home; potatoes being a close second!  I grew up with rice as part of our meal every day although at home my mother would make chappatis too.  Rules of the table being, one chappati to start with followed by a helping of rice – the meal being balanced with a little wholemeal wheat in chappatis, rice, vegetables, dal and usually some yogurt with cucumber or spinach.  

My mother being of Iranian origin prepared some weird and wonderful rice dishes – Iranians do wild combinations of rice with vegetables, lentils, beans and dried fruit and most of these are served with loads of salad, yogurt and pickle.  I have already posted a rice pilau with broad beans with tomatoes but this one is with herbs – beautiful fragrant dill and flat leaf parsley.  It is simpler because the rice is boiled and simply added to the beans and herbs and stir fried for a few minutes.

Very quick, simple and takes no more time than popping a ready meal in the oven – serve with avocado, onion & tomato salad and/or beetroot salad and/or yogurt and cucumber. I hope you will try it and do variations for yourself by using peas, carrots, cauliflower florets, mange tout etc etc

I had some broad beans in the freezer which I had frozen earlier this year from the leftovers of the small crop in our garden.  Simply boil for 2 minutes, cool with lots of water and freeze.  I also freeze parsley and dill – wash, chop and freeze.  It’s the best way of preserving herbs and of course you will always have some to the ready when you need them.  Buy them when on special offer in Asian or Middle Eastern shops – I usually get 2 big bunches of dill for £1 and same with flat leaf parsley or coriander.

3-4 servings (serve with vegan meat balls or sausages!)


300 grams (soak for 1 hour)
2 cups cooked broad beans (fresh or frozen)
1 large onion, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 small sticks cinnamon
¼ teaspoon turmeric


  1. In a large wok or pan, fry onion and cinnamon sticks in oil until onions are golden
  2. Cook the beans separately and add to onions along with parsley, dill, turmeric and a pinch of salt – fry on low heat for 4-5 minutes
  3. Rinse rice and boil with a half teaspoon of salt in lots of water until rice is cooked – about 5-7 minutes depending on quality of rice
  4. Strain rice in colander and add to beans and herb mixture
  5. Stir fry over low heat and warm through for about 2-3 minutes – use a spatula and stir gently so as not to break the rice grains

Rice, tomatoes & broad beans

Rice with broad beans(2)

I love this rice in a rich tomato sauce.  It is a wonderful comfort food when you just need an all-in-one dish and don’t need to buy special ingredients.  Rice, tomatoes and beans is pretty much what you need with just turmeric and cinnamon to perk it up. At a pinch you could use a tin of broad beans! or peas if you are really stuck!

One of the golden rules of cooking rice is to not add too much water as it is always possible to add a splash more if you need it. Always add boiling water once the rice has come to the boil so have the kettle on just in case.  Don’t stick to the exact times in any recipe!  There are many qualities and grades of Basmati rice and cooking time depends on the quality of rice and the soaking time, so keep checking the rice.  Another point to bear in mind is that if there are tomatoes in the recipe, you will need slightly less water. Do let me know how you get on with it and if you get stuck, shout!

4 servings


300 grams Basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour
1 medium onion, sliced
1 stick cinnamon (2 inches long)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tin tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 bay leaves
1½ cups broad beans, fresh or frozen
500ml water
1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large wide saucepan, fry the onions and cinnamon stick in oil until golden
  2. Add turmeric, bay leaves, tinned tomatoes and salt. Cover and cook gently for about 15 minutes, stirring intermittently to stop it from sticking to the pan
  3. Add beans and 500ml water and continue to cook gently for another 15 minutes until beans are cooked
  4. Rinse rice and add to tomato and bean mixture – there should be enough liquid in the pan to cover the rice, if not add a little more (see picture below).
  5. Bring to boil; cover the lid with a tea towel, lower the heat and cook on lowest heat for 15 minutes. Check rice, if still al dente, add a little boiling water and continue to steam for a further 5 minutes

Rice with broad beans Tip – you can use peas instead of broad beans or even add a sliced carrot