One reason Trader Joe’s is my happy shopping space is that they always have something new in the aisles to try, This time it was a rice made with chickpeas and lentils (in the pasta aisle) that caught my attention. It could go in dishes as rice or as a pasta like orzo. I got a pack and then got thinking about what I could make and that’s when I spotted the can of chickpeas and some crisp chickpeas in my pantry. And that’s how the idea of a three kinds of chickpeas pulao was born. Of course, you could make the same dish with regular rice and it will taste just as yum.
The list of ingredients is a bit long, but once you get everything together, it is very easy to make and the result is a delicious one pot, hearty meal.
- 2 tbsp cooking oil or you can use a mix of ghee and oil (I used vegetable oil and ghee)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cardamoms, open pods and use seeds only
- 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, finely grated
- 1 garlic glove, finely grated
- 2 moderate green chilis finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped into moderate pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- A 15 ounce can of cooked chick peas, washed and drained
- 1 cup Trader Joes chick pea/lentil rice (or you can use an equal amount of basmati rice – just wash and drain the regular rice)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp crisp chickpeas
- 1 tbsp mint leaves finely chopped
1. Heat two tbsps of oil (or the oil/ghee combo) in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise.
2. When the whole spices sizzle, add the chopped onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes till they turn slightly brown.
3. Now add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the green chilis and mix well.
4. Next add the tomato, salt, turmeric powder, and garam masala and toss this well with the onion mixture.
5. Now add the drained chickpeas, the chickpea/lentil rice (or regular basmati rice) and two cups water and mix all the ingredients well.
6. Cook uncovered for 12 minutes (check and stir once or twice)
7. Turn off stove, top with the crunchy chickpeas and mint. Leave covered for a few minutes and then serve with yogurt.
Hint: If you don’t have crispy chickpeas handy, just save a tbsp of washed and drained chickpeas from the can and fry in a pan with a tbsp of oil till it crisps up.