10 minutes of prep, no chopping, then the hardest part is patience while the rice rests for 10 minutes. This is an authentic celebration dish of the Middle East, a great centre piece for a feast. The fragrance of this dish is more subtle than the Middle Eastern Rice (Mejadra) that I posted previously, but still so flavoursome you can eat it just as is. It only needs plain roasted vegetables to accompany it, or a simple piece of grilled fish to make a complete meal.
Try the Shredded Lamb version of this – slow cooked Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb with Chickpea Rice Pilaf!
Fragrant Chickpea Rice Pilaf
- 1 cup basmati rice (or long grain or wild rice)
- 1 1/2 cups water (Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tins (21 oz / 600 g) chickpeas , drained, but still wet
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala (Note 1 for substitutions)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves
- 1/4 cup sultanas or currents
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup fried shallots , store bought (Note 3)
- Combine rice, water and 1/2 tsp salt in a saucepan, bring to boil, turn down then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the water is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes - it will absorb the remaining water.
- While rice is cooking, combine chickpeas, 1/4 tsp salt, cumin and garam masala in a bowl, toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large pan over high heat, add the chick peas and shake the pan every now and then for 1 minute. Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven at 350F/180C for 5 minutes. Set aside - you can leave them in the pan if you want.
- After the rice has rested, combine with the chickpeas, parsley, coriander and sultanas, and a grind of black pepper. Some of the spice on the chickpeas will come off and disperse throughout the rice - this is supposed to happen. Adjust salt if necessary.
- Lastly, toss through the crispy shallots. Serve warm or at room temperature.