Eat & Drink: Dried Cranberry & Chickpea fried Rice

Eat & Drink: Dried Cranberry & Chickpea fried Rice

Try this inspirational recipe, plus the latest culinary news and tips with Food For Thought...

A tasty side perfect with meat or fish, or just enjoy it as a vegan dish.  Use cooked rice immediately,  or refrigerate. 

SERVES: 4-5     PREP: 20 mins   COOK: 20 mins


4 teaspoons black onion or nigella seeds

2 tablespoons coriander seeds – crushed

4 tablespoons desiccated coconut

100g flaked almonds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red onion – peeled and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves – peeled and finely chopped

250g cooked basmati rice

400g tin chickpeas – drained and rinsed

75g dried cranberries – soaked in boiling water

and drained

Small bunch each of parsley,

dill and coriander –chopped


2 lemons – cut into wedges



1. Combine the black onion seeds and coriander seeds together and crush, either with a rolling pin or pestle and mortar.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ gas mark 6.

3. Place the desiccated coconut, almonds and spices on a baking tray and toast until golden. This takes about five minutes, so
do put a timer on!

4. Remove and set aside.

5. Heat a frying pan with the olive oil and sauté the onion until crisp. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the cooked rice, chickpeas and dried cranberries.

6. Heat thoroughly, mixing well, and stir in the spices, almonds and coconut.

7. Stir in the chopped herbs and garnish with the lemon wedges.

Denise Phillips’ latest book, Celebrate Every Day is available now, priced £20 (hardback), in aid of Chai Cancer Care. Available from


Food for thought: 

Halv-a look at this

Calling all halva fans: Sesame Kingdom has set up a stall at Wembley Park Market, London’s newest indoor and permanent market, which brings together independent traders of everything from food and fashion to homeware and wellness. Using the finest organic, single-origin Arabian White Humera sesame seeds – recognised as the best in the world – Sesame Kingdom’s fayre is gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Wembley Park Market is open every day except Monday.


Top of the crops

JVS is hosting a potluck vegan lunch and talk from plant enthusiast Daniel Susser – as well as a spot of community gardening and even a plant swap – at its Golders Green headquarters on Sunday, from 11.30am to 2.30pm. Children and dogs are welcome. Register for the free event at

Out of this world

Eat your way through a Martian attack, courtesy of The Spirit of Man, a casual dining restaurant that has opened as part of Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience in Leadenhall Street, east London. Visitors are welcomed by a domineering Martian sculpture, complete with metal tentacles suspended from the ceiling, while animated paintings depict scenes from H G Wells’ famous novel about aliens attacking the Earth. The Victoriana-inspired menu includes plenty of veggie/vegan options – before moving onto quintessentially English desserts. Open Tuesday-Sunday.

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