Sweetly spiced rabbit pilaf

This easy, Middle Eastern inspired rice-based one-pot is spiced with cumin and chilli and sweetened with cinnamon and prunes

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:30 mins
    plus standing
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 687
  • fat 15g
  • saturates 7g
  • carbs 70g
  • sugars 12g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 64g
  • salt 0.7g


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • meat from legs and loins of 2 wild rabbits, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder or hot paprika, plus a sprinkle
  • 250g long-grain rice, well rinsed
  • 350g butternut squash, peeled and sliced into half-moons
  • 85g pitted prunes
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • handful mint (or coriander, or dill)
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or toasted flaked almonds
  • low-fat Greek yogurt
  • pomegranate molasses or lemon juice


  1. Melt the butter and oil in a wide, lidded pan, and add the onions and garlic. Soften gently for 5 mins, then tip in the rabbit and cook for 5 mins more, stirring until it changes colour all over (it doesn’t need to be particularly browned). Turn up the heat a little, add the spices and fry for 2 mins until aromatic. Lift out the pieces of loin and set aside.

  2. Tip in the rice, squash and prunes, cover with the stock and season. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 10 mins. Put the loin meat on top of the rice, re-cover and cook for another 5 mins or until you can see channels appearing in the surface of the rice and most or all of the liquid has disappeared. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 mins.

  3. Fluff up the tender rice with a fork, check the seasoning and scatter with the fresh herbs and the nuts. Serve each portion with a blob of yogurt topped with a sprinkling of chilli or paprika, plus a drizzle of tangy pomegranate molasses or lemon juice.

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