We cooked with passion, ate with relish, and celebrated the holidays with gusto! Desserts, chocolates, and delicacies from our home countries were exchanged. We ate what we pleased and nothing was off limits. January 6 is here, and it’s time to get back on track with healthy eating. I’d like to start my blogging year on the right foot. So, my first recipe for this year is vegetarian, vegan, and nutritious. At least, I can say, I’ve started the year with good intentions.
Rice is a staple, in most Indian homes, and you’ll find it on the table every day. Adding garbanzo beans to rice is an excellent way to add fiber, protein, and other nutrients to your diet. Adding a vegetable and a salad to this dish is all you need to make it a complete meal. Some of the vegetable dishes, from my blog, that you could use are: Eggplant in Tomato Curry, Green Bean Thoren, and Cauliflower Subzi.
I used canned garbanzo beans in this recipe. You can also use dry garbanzo beans that you will find in your local grocery store. Just remember, soak them overnight, wash them in several changes of water, and cook them before you use them in this recipe. You can use chillies to make the rice spicy or leave them out completely. This dish is unique in that it is mild in flavor but rich in aroma. Many times that’s the kind of rice dish I’m looking for to accompany bold, flavorful curries. Well, this rice recipe is one of my favorites. You can bump up the flavor by switching water with vegetable stock. It’s a nice change to plain rice and I find that children like it.
Garbanzo Rice Pulao
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
¼ cup ghee
4 black cardamoms
4 green cardamoms
2-inch piece of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
½ tsp cumin seeds
4 dry red chillies, (optional)
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 green chillies, (optional, cut in half)
1 15.5oz can (439g) Goya chickpeas/garbanzo beans, (well drained)
4 cups water
2 cups Basmati rice
Wash the rice in three changes of water. Be gently when you wash the rice. Soak in water for 15 minutes.
While the rice is soaking, place a large non-stick pot over medium heat. Add ghee and when it melts, add black and green cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, and cumin seeds. Stir for 30 seconds to allow the spices to permeate the oil. Add the dry red chillies. Cook, while stirring, for another 30 seconds. Next, add the chopped onion. Stir and cook until the onion turns translucent. Add the green chillies and well-drained garbanzo beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, for one minute.
Turn heat to medium-high and add water. When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium, and add salt. Taste the water, it should taste salty, like the ocean! Drain the rice and add it to the water. Gently stir to combine the rice, water, and spices. Then, allow the rice to cook, undisturbed. The rice will swell and rise to the top. When you see bubbles appearing on the surface of the rice, it is time to cover the dish with a tight-fitting lid. Once you see steam escaping through the edges of the lid, turn the heat to the lowest point, and let the rice cook for eight minutes. Turn off the heat, but don’t open the lid immediately. Allow the dish to rest for five minutes before you serve.