" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

August 16, 2010

Indian Chickpea Rice Casserole

I love Indian food (India not Native American).  This recipe was in a discarded magazine that I was using in my craft room.  When I saw it I thought 'got to save this and try it'.  It's easy, economical and tastes great--unless you hate Indian food.  People either love it or hate it in my experience.  If you love it or are not sure, give this one a try.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • one onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2.25 cups broth--chicken or vegetable if you're vegan
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/3 cup currants 
  • fresh cilantro and roasted cashews for garish
Method:

In a non-stick skillet heat the oil and add mustard and cumin seed.  When mustard seed pops add the onion, ginger, and carrot and saute until onion is tender.  To this add the broth, rice, chickpeas and currants.  Pour into a covered casserole dish and bake covered at 350 degrees until the rice is tender and broth is absorbed.

When serving sprinkle each portion with cashews and cilantro.

My Changes

I used coconut milk in place of the broth (the kind you find in the refrigerated case with the regular milk--it was 50 calories for one cup--I needed to use it up) and added chicken bouillon powder for flavor and to add some salt since the recipe didn't have salt.  And I didn't have currants so I replaced them with golden raisins.  As well, I dumped it all into my rice cooker instead of baking in the oven.  The rice cooker turns off automatically when the liquid is absorbed.

Also, while I love and prefer basmati rice until I can buy it at an Indian grocery I refuse to pay $5 for a pound of rice, so I used converted rice, the store brand.  It was very good and didn't get gummy as some plain rice tends to do.  Jasmine rice would probably work well and it is less expensive than basmati.

Serving suggestions:

I served this with plain yogurt--for protein--garlic naan (Indian bread), mango chutney and sliced fresh tomatoes from the garden. Don't forget to garnish the casserole servings with the cashews-- and cilantro if you're a fan of it.  I love it, husband hates it.

I will definitely make this again.  Beans and rice unlike you've never eaten them but really yummy.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."