Both I and Little Man are the rice lovers in this house (the two greedy ones), so I often experiment with putting different things in a simple pilau rice. This week I tried potato and chickpea and another surprise ingredient - chicken stock cube - and really liked how it tasted. This dish was a hit with the kids too and is a fairly convenient one to include in packed lunches for school.
2-3 tablespoon cooking oil
2 medium onions - diced
2 tablespoon whole cumin (sabut zeera) seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
2-3 medium tomatoes - pureed.
2-3 whole green chilli's with small slits.
1 tablespoon salt
2 cans of chickpeas - drained and washed
4-5 medium sized potatoes - diced roughly.
1 chicken stock cube (I used Knorr chicken)
3 cups rice (I use a teacup).
First rinse the rice two or three times in water. Then soak in water and leave aside until the masala is ready.
For the masala add the oil, onions, cumin and peppercorns to the pot and sauté the onions until golden. Add the garam masala, salt, red chilli and cook for a minute, then add the tomato and cook for a further 5 minutes until the masala is fairly dry but not sticking to the bottom of the pot (the tomato should be fairly cooked through by this stage. Add the potatoes and saute until they are half-cooked and then add the chickpeas, if they start to stick to the pan, add a little water to prevent this.
Add 4-1/2 cups of water (1 and a half cup for each cup of rice). Partially cover the pot with its lid and let the water heat up. Once it starts to boil, drain and add the rice and the chicken stock cube. Partially cover the pot again with the lid and allow to cook.
Once the water starts to boil again, take an old tea-towel and soak it completely under the tap. Wrap this around the bottom of the lid of your pot and tie the corners above the handle (make sure it is sopping wet or it will get roasted - I managed to turn one black in the past because I tied it on dry). Put the lid on the pot, and turn the heat down as low as it goes. Check after 15-20 minutes. If not cooked through replace lid and check after another 10 minutes.
Can be served with a curry, yoghurt, raita or salad or eaten on its own (or in my case with coleslaw and potato salad as this was all I could find in the fridge).
Normal Calm by Hend Hegazi
2 months ago