First, make a spice mix:
Add the hot paprika, cumin powder, coriander powder, black pepper, garlic powder, and the onion and garlic salt, to a small bowl and mix until well combined. Reserve
In a pot, add oil and when it’s hot, add the vegan chicken, then add half of the spices, sauté until golden but careful not to burn the spices for they are crazy delicate.
When the chicken strips are ready, remove them from the pot and reserve.
Add a bit more oil to the pot, then add the onions, sauté until golden, then add the remainder of the vegetables. Add the remainder of the spice mix, add a splash of water and cook it for a few minutes, until the carrots are soft and everything is cooked through.
Add the vegan chicken back to the pot, add some parsley and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
Now make the rice:
On a pot, add the oil, then add cloves, a cassia bark stick or a cinnamon stick, green or black cardamoms, and a bay leaf.
Sauté them for a few seconds but be careful again not to burn the aromatics because they are also very delicate.
Add the previously washed rice to the pot, add salt, water; bring it to a boil then lower the heat to a minimum, and put the lid on. This rice is supposed to be a bit stickier than usual so it keeps the shape so that’s why we add a bit more water to it than usual.
Now, dilute the saffron in a few tablespoons of how water; reserve it.
After 6 minutes of cooking the rice, add the saffron diluted in water on top of the rice, do not stir.
Cover the pot again and allow the rice to cook completely. The cooking time will depend on the type of rice you’re using, mine took 15 minutes total.
Add parchment paper to the bottom of a mold, grease it and add the chicken and vegetables, pack it well by pressing it firmly but gently.
Fish out the cloves, the cardamom, the bay leaf, and the cassia bark from the cooked rice
Add the cooked rice on top of the vegan chicken and veggies, pack it very well so the rice holds its shape after it’s removed from the mold. Place a plate on top of the mold and holding the plate firmly, flip the mold and the plate together in one single motion.
Remove the top of the mold and the sides, garnish the rice cake with some fresh mint or fresh parsley leaves and serve it hot.