Spiced basmati and smoked quinoa rice balls with apple ketchup

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These ingenious basmati rice and quinoa balls are a little like Italian arancini, but make the most of aromatic basmati, Middle Eastern spices and molten mozzarella cheese for a fascinating twist. The apple ketchup on the side is spiked with ajwain seeds, which have a flavour similar to thyme and star anise.

First published in 2019




Apple and ajwain ketchup

Rice balls


  • Blender


To make the ketchup, place the apples, sugar, ajwain seeds and vinegar in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook the apples until they are very soft
  • 150ml of cider vinegar
  • 350g of Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored weight, finely sliced
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds
Drain the apples, reserving the liquid in the pan. Place the apple mixture into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add the lemon juice and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to reach a thick ketchup-like consistency. Store any extra ketchup in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so
To make the rice balls, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 4 minutes, then add the spices
Continue to cook until the onion softens completely. Add the rice and quinoa, mixing well, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, stir, and reduce the heat. Cover with a lid and cook gently until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat, spread out on a tray and place in the fridge to cool for at least 1 hour
Preheat a deep-fryer or deep pan full of oil to 180°C
  • oil, for deep-frying
Shape the rice mixture into 30g balls and push a piece of mozzarella into the middle of each one, making sure it is completely covered in rice. Dust the balls in polenta and deep-fry until golden and crisp
Serve immediately with the apple ketchup

Whether you call it 'fusion', 'global' or 'basically indescribable' is beside the point; Anna Hansen's food is without a doubt fresh and adventurous - you might even call it modern.

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