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Aromatic Basmati Rice with Chickpeas and Cilantro

Aromatic Basmati Rice with Chickpeas and Cilantro

A wonderful winter night treat, or a hearty Sunday lunch: whenever you choose to enjoy this dish, it is going to bring you deep satisfaction, and many health benefits.

Chickpeas are a powerhouse of protein. Basmati rice, rich in vitamins and minerals, is light and easy to digest. Ginger and garlic are laden with health benefits that nurture the heart, muscles, digestive system and more. Cilantro provides a touch of fresh, eye-pleasing color and a sprinkling of antioxidants. Cayenne pepper cleanses the respiratory channels, while turmeric boosts immunity. Black pepper makes all of this more readily available to the cells and tissues.

This recipe is very easy to make, and takes only a few minutes to cook once you have the chickpeas boiled. Enjoy!


2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you can tolerate some heat)
4 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained
2 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Wash rice and soak in 4 cups of clean water for at least 15 minutes.  Cook the rice with the water in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat until the grains are soft but fluffy. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the cumin, ginger, and garlic. A few seconds later,  add the onions and stir well. Let cook for a few minutes, or until the onions turn light pink.

Add the cooked chickpeas, cayenne, and salt.  Stir for a minute or two, making sure the chickpeas are well coated with the spices and vegetables. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add rice to the chickpea bowl,  and sprinkle with finely chopped cilantro leaves. Dust with black pepper, and serve hot.

Variations to Try:

  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and lettuce leaves atop the cooked rice.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice for a zesty touch.
  • Try the same dish in the same method, but with 2 cups kidney beans and 2 cups chickpeas.



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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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2:54AM PDT on Apr 19, 2014


2:54AM PDT on Apr 19, 2014


8:50AM PST on Dec 30, 2013


9:43AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Sounds pretty good. Will have to give it a try.

3:13AM PST on Dec 29, 2013

Thank you :)

6:12PM PST on Dec 24, 2013

That looks like a shrimp to me on the picture.

7:46AM PST on Dec 24, 2013

Maybe the person used tofurky sausage in the photo, who knows. However, whatever the mystery item is, the photo does not match the ingredients. Can't wait to see them make a casserole.

11:01PM PST on Dec 20, 2013

yum, like the recipe and the variations offered. ty so much for sharing this!

9:00AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

thank you

8:10AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

It sounds good but I'd bet it will give me a leangthy time on the toilet next day..

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