Purslane Rice: A Quick and Easy Recipe Using So-Called "Weeds"

I have been working on this recipe for many years now. It started with simple string or green beans, garlic powder, and sesame seeds. Now, I have transformed it into a wild rice type of dish. The basic idea is still there.

However, the ingredients have changed multiple times now. Moving away from green beans, I now utilize garlic chives, purslane, and African wild spinach or amaranth that grow in my garden abundantly. The main focus, however, is on purslane.

This herb or so-called weed, grows abundantly in my garden, growing between my fynbos plants, and between the pavement. It produces thousands of seeds and returns every year. I have tried to harvest the seeds to plant them, but the best thing to do is to leave them to self-seed.

This year, they have grown really abundantly, and I have used every opportunity to cook with them. Previously, I made a chutney in which I used purslane and spekboom/purslane tree.

This week, I want to showcase and share with you this recipe I have been working on for many years.

Two key ingredients, garlic powder and purslane, really make it something special. Use it as a side dish or a main dish, either way, it is amazingly simple, so delicious, and very nutritious! We can all do with more vegetables and leafy greens in our diet.


The dish requires the following ingredients:

  • Purslane,
  • Garlic powder,
  • Garlic,
  • Ginger,
  • Garlic chives,
  • Swiss chard,
  • Onion,
  • Sesame seeds,
  • Nuts, and
  • Rice.

Purslane and the other so-called "weeds" grow really abundantly. It merely takes a mind shift from gardeners to seeing them as utilities and assets. It is basically free food!

Here you can see some baby purslane plants still growing between my fynbos plants. I usually trim them hard but they just grow back!

It is amazing just how much food you can harvest from your garden that is deemed to be "weeds". The following photograph showcases my harvest for this dish, it cost me nothing to grow them.

Yet most gardeners will throw these plants away because it pollutes and blemishes people's gardens.

In any case, below I share with you the process I followed to make this dish!


Firstly, I cut everything into smaller pieces.

I separate the leafy parts from the white and sturdy parts. I then lightly fry and brown the onions, garlic, ginger, and swiss chard stalks.

I then add a bunch of nuts and seeds. Mostly almonds and sunflower seeds because they are the cheapest here where I live. Some day I will grow enough seeds that I can use them instead of buying them!

After adding the seeds and nuts, I add some oil/butter and then the leafy greens. I "flash fry" them, as they will go soft when you cook them too long. You essentially want the purslane to still be crunchy.

The key ingredient to add at this stage is garlic powder. It will soak up any excess moisture and fat, but it gives the dish its unique flavor.

Add all of this to the rice. Either mix it in or just serve it on top.

And there you have it. Again, this dish is a kind of blank canvas that you can experiment with. Different flavors, different combinations of herbs. The sky is the limit!

I know a fellow Hivian, @zakludick, might appreciate this recipe as he is also sitting with an excess amount of purslane! I hope he likes his veggies, as there is no meat in this dish. But I can imagine a bit of bacon or chicken in this recipe will also be good.

Either way, I hope you give this dish a try! Please let me know in the comments if you cook with purslane or any local wild herbs! The photographs are my own, taken with my iPhone. The recipe is also my own creation, something I have been working on for many years. Happy cooking, and stay well!


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I have heard of purslane but have never seen it as far as know. This is super interesting. I love the idea of utilizing wild herbs in food. I live in a big concrete city with no car so I don't get out much. It's good to know what's edible in case the food supply goes out the door. I have eaten wild dandelion salad but that's about it.

The dish is top notch. It could be a great fine dining dish for sure.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the compliment.

Yes, it is awesome to learn about all of the edible foods that grow close by, plus to know that it is essentially free. More importantly and of use is that these plants are much tougher than the things we want to grow.

Dandelions are awesome, mix some wild rocket in there and it makes the best dandelion and rocket pesto!

Yes combining dandelion with rocket sounds good. I have to wait for wild dandelion and wild rocket is not a thing in these parts but it's in packages all over. I love pesto!

It is crazy to think about how local some plants and herbs are. We sometimes think that because it is like this here, it is also like that there. I hope that you can source some of these wonderful plants!

Great recipe! I appreciate the use of garlic powder in this dish, it sounds like it adds a unique depth of flavor. I'll definitely be giving this recipe a try, thank you for sharing! Lovely pictures BTW.

!discovery 38

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

Yes, for some reason the garlic powder just makes this dish! Even the dish this one is based on, the garlic powder adds so much flavor. That dish is basically green beans, sesame seed, oil and garlic powder.

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I love this, purslane grows well here, I should have some when spring kicks in. Wild greens are just what our bodies need. I will be saving this wonderful recipe, thank you @fermentedphil xxxxxx

Please let me know when you tried it.

Yes, our bodies just know, right? Like with leafy greens, my body craves salad rocket year round. It is the funniest thing, but intuitively I know it is my body craving nutritious foods.

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I never heard this one before and I can say that this is an interesting recipe plus it has the garlic powder.

Thank you so much my friend. Yes, the garlic powder makes this dish awesome! I hope you try it soon.

Awesome! I checked now and I have quite a bit of Purslane growing... I have been promoting its growth lol

I saw in one of your posts yes! Add some to a potjie or bredie if you are planning to make one! They thicken the sauce beautifully and add some nice rich flavor.

I shall! I got some Spekboom cuttings today from a friend (after recognizing it in their garden) so they are in two cups of water now! Looking forward to growing them!

Awesome! Spekboom takes so easily from cuttings. I have made cuttings from my cuttings haha. It is a wonderful plant if you like sour and tart things!

Well, in the end of the day... its edible so I will grow as many as I can!

That is true! That is how I feel about all of the edible stuff I grow!

I swear I'm gonna have to look into this, thanks for the recipe


Please do try it! And let me know how it turned out. I would love to hear how you made it if and when you do it.

I'll have to wait until I find some Purslane, my front and side beds were rampant with it when I moved in here, and I worked to get rid of it.
Now I wish I hadn't so much.
If I remember, I'll try it and give you a review

Apparently, their seeds can last up to 40 years in the ground. Maybe there are still some seeds in your beds. It is sad yes, same here. We had various so-called weeds and we got rid of them, and now I am yearning for them to return so that I can cook with them.