Please note due to Covid19, all class are cancelled until further notice. See Hours & Location tab for more details

Ottolenghi Harissa Rice Bowl | Easy Family Meal | Flexitarian Series

Posted: Apr 28 2020

Our Ottolenghi inspired harissa rice bowl is a huge hit! This is part of our flexitarian diet series helping you eat more veg and less meat. This recipe is packed with bright flavours, earthy spices and fresh veggies. 

Our harissa recipe is adjusted for our kids. The mild version is still full of spice, lemon and garlic, without the hot spicy that our kids don’t like yet. However if you like it spicy, just add some cayenne pepper and you're good to go. 

Topped with chickpeas this rice bowl has plenty of plant based protein. However if someone in your house is looking for animal protein, grilled chicken is a great addition. We have included a simple chicken recipe for your convenience. 

Harissa is a very common North African condiment. You can add to any meat, seafood or vegetables to add a boost of flavour. It is one of our favourite condiments to have stocked in our fridge. Keeping for up to a month, we add it to pan fried sole, homemade carrot soup and my favourite, harissa mayo on top of our potato rösti (recipe coming soon).



Serves 4
Cook time - 30 minutes


2 cups basmati rice
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
Pickled cabbage
1/4 medium red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Harissa Paste
2 tbsp whole cumin seed
2 tbsp whole coriander seed
2 tbsp whole caraway seeds
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon or 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 can (398ml) chickpeas
1/2 english cucumber
1 bunch dill
1 bunch cilantro
Sprinkle black & white sesame seeds



Boil water in a kettle. For chicken (optional) preheat your BBQ to medium or oven to 400 F.

To make the rice, add 1 tbsp of sunflower oil to medium pot and heat to medium high. Once the pot and oil is hot, add ground spices (paprika, turmeric & cumin) and 1/2 tsp salt, stir for 20-30 seconds. Add rice and stir until the rice is well coated and hot (approx. 1 minute). Carefully pour 3 cups of boiling water into the pot (it will splash). Make sure all the rice is submerged and place on a tight fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low and set the timer for 15 minutes.

For the pickled cabbage, add 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt into a small pot and whisk well. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, thinly slice 1/4 red cabbage and place in a bowl. Once salt & sugar has dissolved, pour liquid over the cabbage and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Once the grill/oven are heated, great the grill with oil and put the chicken on the grill for approx. 6 minutes per side until cooked through (if adding).

To make the harissa paste, heat a frying pan on medium heat. Measure 2 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tbsp of coriander seed, 2 tbsp of caraway seeds, and place in pan. Toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Toss the seeds every minute or so to prevent burning. Add 2 tsp of paprika powder, 1/2 tsp of cayenne (if using) and 2 cloves of minced garlic for last 30 seconds. Place spices in a bowl and leave for a few minutes to cool. Place spices in mortar and pestle (or coffee/ spice grinder) and grind spices into a fine powder. Mix in 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1 tsp of salt into the mortar and pestle and stir to form a paste. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Once timer goes off for rice, remove lid, add strained chickpeas right on top of the rice and place a tea towel over the pot. Place lid back on pot and let sit for 10 min off the heat.

Chop cucumber into small wedges. Roughly chop half a bunch of dill, half bunch of cilantro leaves.

Once rice is ready, fluff the rice, mixing in the chickpeas. Place rice & chickpeas into bowls, top with cucumber, about 2 or 2.5 Tbsp of harissa paste and 1/4 of the pickled cabbage & fresh herbs. Top with sesame seeds & serve with a lemon wedge.

Taste and season with salt and/or more harissa if needed and enjoy.

More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Sign up to receive deals!