Tuesday, May 23, 2006

ARF/5-a-Day #21 - Kabuli chana chawal (rice with chickpeas)

I'm back on track with the ARF/-5-a-day event - I've missed five of these, I can hardly believe it! 5 weeks! And to think it's one of my favourite events because its parameters fall within my area of capability. (Impressively worded, what? *wink*)

Anyway, my entry this week is Kabuli chana chawal (rice with chickpeas). It's a simple dish made with canned chickpeas and the help of my trusty rice cooker. I wasnt in any mood to make anything complicated after a long day at work, and it was even more irritating, when we came home, to find that the heating system had conked out and there was no hot water. Pete had to climb up into the loft to get at it, and it took a good 30 minutes before it was set right.

So in the meantime, I made dinner. A couple of onions, a can of chickpeas, a few spices and my rice cooker all ensured that my one-pot meal was ready by the time the heating system was sorted out. For pretty much instant yet mildly flavoured rice, I added two bay leaves, a stick of cinnamon and a large black cardamom to the water in the rice cooker.

In the 20 minutes that it took to cook the rice, I sliced some shallots and an onion, and grated ginger and garlic. Once those were nicely browning in my wok, I add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and sauteed them for a bit with spices and salt. Then I added a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and add those in as well.

The chickpea mix was ready by the time the rice was done, and all I had to do was mix the rice in. For myself, I crumbled some lovely little dried Mexican chillies - pequin chiles - over my rice to give it some heat. (It was made without any chillies at all to protect Pete's tastebuds.) In Pete's case, I added some cooked chicken left over from the previous day.

Arent these pequin chiles cute? They're supposed to be very spicy-hot but I didnt find them quite as bad as, say, habaneros.

This chickpea rice, served with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some wonderful spicy pickled whole baby mangoes (maavadu or vadu maanga, which Pete abstained from trying), this was a quick and healthy one-dish meal. And BOY did I feel better for it!

PS. And yet, despite the hunger, I still found time and patience to take photos of what I was doing. That's what I call a dedicated food blogger! :)

Recipe for:
Kabuli chana chawal (Rice with chickpeas)


1 can (440gm) chickpeas
4 cups cooked rice
1 large onion, sliced thin
4-5 shallots, sliced thin
3-4 fresh green chillies, slit/5-6 dry pequin chiles, crumbled (both optional)
1 tsp sambar powder or Maharashtrian goda masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (or grated)
2 tsp oil + Pam or other low-fat spray as required
5-6 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
Salt to taste


1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the cumin seeds to the oil first, then after 30 seconds, add the ginger-garlic paste (and green chillies if using) and stir-fry for about a minute.

2. Now add the sambar powder or goda masala and stir.

3. Next put in the onions and shallots and fry over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to turn a bit brown.

4. At this stage, add the chickpeas and stir, turning the heat up. Stir more frequently now, to prevent the onions from burning. Give it 3-4 sprays of Pam to help the browning process.

5. Once the chickpeas have acquired some colour and the onions are a golden brown, throw in the halved cherry tomatoes.

6. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until the tomatoes just begin to turn soft.

7. Add the cooked rice and mix carefully. Add salt to taste, a few pinches of freshly ground black pepper if you wish. Stir till the chickpea mix is evenly distributed in the rice.

8. Serve hot with any cold raita and pickles and poppadum.


Anonymous said...

That is an impressive one pot meal. You seem to be the master of improvisation. Less spicy dish for Pete and super hot rice dish for yourself, all from the same pot.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shammi,
A wonderful recipe...real good innovativeness...will try this recipe soon ...the spicy version for sure..:-)

Cate said...

Looks delicious - can't wait to make this!

Menu Today said...

Hi Shyamala,
Your rice looks yummy.. I will try it soon.Thanx for sharing your recipe.

Vaishali said...

I haven't read the recipe/writeup thoroughly yet. What I did manage to see in passing is 'Goda Masala' amongst the ingredients. That's exciting. Never used this one for dishes which I haven't grown up with. Will come back for a second read.

Shammi said...

Thanks, ladies :)

Vaishali, that's the good part about trying out ingredients/items from other cuisines - since you dont know the traditional use for them, you're free to use them any way you like in any dish you want :)

Anonymous said...

The channa rice looks delicious and a very interesting recipe.

I tried your chow chow dal and it was super yummy . I have posted the pictures under the treasure recipes pasge in my blog.
Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes.

Catherine said...

Hi there!
Found you through Sweetnicks! What a great recipe! I'm looking forward to checking out your archives.