When it comes to cheap ingredients, rice pretty much rules. Affordable at less than £2 per kilogram, you can stock up on this staple ingredient without breaking your bank account. It can also be turned into some really delicious dishes
1. Ola Brazil Pilaf
Serves: 4 people
Ingredients: 250 grams of brown rice, 550 millilitres of chicken or vegetable stock. 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 onion (diced), 2 cloves of garlic (sliced), 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano (sliced), 1 stick of celery (diced), 1 large carrot (diced),1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1/2 a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (or more if you like things spicy), 400 gram tin of black beans, 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley
1. Put the rice into a saucepan and pour the stock in on top. Bring to boil.
2. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat. Cover the pan and leave the rice to simmer for around 30 minutes (or until it is tender).
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan and add in the onion. Cook it for 5 minutes or until it is going soft. Then, add in the garlic, oregano, celery, carrot, cumin, chili flakes. Stir and cook for a further six minutes.
4. Pour in the black beans and stir again. Cook the vegetable mixture for 2 minutes more.
5. Drain the rice and add it to the vegetable mixture. Take everything off of the heat and add in the parsley as a garnish. Serve immediately.
2. Feta and rice salad
Serves: 4 people
Ingredients: 250 grams of basmati rice, 400 gram tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1 red onion (diced), 1 bell pepper (diced), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 garlic clove (crushed), 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 200 grams of feta cheese, a handful of parsley (chopped)
1. Boil a saucepan of water and cook the rice as per the instructions on the packaging. Add in the chickpeas for the final five minutes before taking off the hob.
2. Drain the rice and chickpeas and leave to cool. then mix in the red onion and the bell pepper.
3. Leave the rice mixture to one side to make the dressing. Mix together the oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour this over the rice mixture.
4. Serve it up and crumble feta over the top. add some parsley for a garnish.
3. Egg and spring fried rice
Serves: 2 people
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 3 eggs (1 beaten egg), a bunch of 8 spring onions (chopped into small lengths), 1 green chilli (chopped up), 1 garlic clove (crushed), a small chunk of ginger (grated), 150 grams of spring greens or cabbage (shredded), 200 grams of rice, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (add extra if you want to)
1. Boil a saucepan of water and cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet.
2. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan and crack in two eggs and cook. When they are ready, remove them from the pan and set them aside.
3. Add more oil to the pan and put in the spring onions, chili, garlic, and ginger. Fry for 3 minutes until softened.
4. Add in the beaten egg and let it sit for half a minute. Mash it up with a wooden spoon.
5. Add in the spring greens/cabbage. Cook until they appear wilted (add a small splash of water to aid this). Add in the rice and soy sauce and stir everything in together.
6. Serve it up and place the eggs from earlier on the top. Sprinkle spring onions over the top.
4. Carrot Biryani
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 onion (diced), 1 green chilli (remember to remove the seeds if you don’t want to make this super spicy), 1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed), 1 tablespoon of garam marsala, 3 carrots (grated), two 200 gram pouches of brown basmati rice, 150 grams of frozen peas, 50 grams of roasted cashew nuts, coriander (chopped), plain yoghurt
1. Cook the rice as per the instructions on the packet.
2. Meanwhile, begin by heating the oil in a frying pan and put in the onions. Fry them until they soften, making sure to stir so that they don’t burn.
3. Once the onion is soft, add in the garlic and chili and cook it all for a further minute. Add in the spices and a tablespoon of cold water and stir together.
4. After a few minutes, put in the carrots and stir again, making sure that everything is well mixed.
5. Drain the rice and tip it into the pan. Then add the peas and cashew nuts and cover the pan. Leave everything to cook for a further five minutes.
6. Put in some yoghurt and coriander. Mix it together and serve.
5. Sushi (you will need a sushi mat)
Ingredients: 200 grams of sushi rice, 70 millilitres of rice wine vinegar for the sushi and 1/2 tablespoon for the mayonnaise, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of golden caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1/2 a teaspoon of soy sauce, 25 gram bag of seaweed sheets (nori), and a filling (we recommend avocado but you can go for fish, pepper or even cucumber)
1. Lay a sheet of nori onto the sushi mat with the shinier side facing downwards. Cover your fingers in the vinegar (be careful if you have any cuts and make sure that they are covered with plaster first as this could sting) and put small handfuls of rice onto the sheet.
2. Then, pat it down until it is flat (about 1 centimetre thick). Leave one edge clear.
3. Put that to one side and make the mayonnaise by mixing together the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and soy sauce. Then spread a thin layer down the centre of the rice.
4. Put the filling on the mayonnaise. and roll it by lifting the mat over the rice. When you get to the edge without rice brush a small amount of water across it and it should stick down.
5. Wrap it in cling film and cut it into slices when you’re ready to serve.