Rice Pilaf with Green Coriander Seeds and Coconut Beans

This is a bright and colourful dish, the rice pilaf has lovely flavours and textures with the sweet raisins, crunchy cashews and green coriander seeds, matching nicely with the fresh snap of the green beans with aromatic toasted coconut.
2 cups basmati rice (brown or white), washed
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini cut into sixths and then chopped
1 Tbsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup whole cashews or chopped almonds
3-4 cups water or broth
1/2 cup fresh green coriander seeds
1. In a medium-large pot, heat oil and add onion and carrot.
2. Cook for a few minutes until the onions begin to get soft, then stir in zucchini, ginger, cloves, bay leaves, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Cook for another few minutes
3. Combine well, then add rice, nuts and raisins. Add the water or broth (3 cups if using white rice, 4 cups if using brown) and stir well. Cover, bring to a boil, then simmer on low until cooked (20 minutes for white rice, 40 for brown). While rice is cooking, prepare Coconut Green Beans (recipe below).
4. When done, stir in a tablespoon of ghee if you like, and the green coriander seed.


3 large handfuls of green beans, ends trimmed
2 tbsp coconut cream
1.5 tsp mustard seeds
1.5 tbsp sesame seeds
5 tbsp grated coconut (unsweetened)
rest of small can of coconut cream
sea salt and pepper to taste
juice of half a lemon (optional)
1.5 tbsp slightly ground green coriander seeds (optional)
slivered thai basil or purple basil (optional)
1. Steam the green beans until tender crisp (slightly under-cooked).
2. Gently toast the coconut in a hot cast iron fry pan or wok. Transfer to bowl.
3. In the wok or pan, heat coconut cream with mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop, add semi-cooked green beans, sesame seeds and coconut cream. Stir fry for several minutes until beans are done.
4. Lightly grind green coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.  Add these to beans and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
4. Top with toasted coconut and basil.