December is officially the month of Christmas... and I just love it!! It’s all about family reunions, love and happiness all around, and not to mention all the lovely presents! I am especially quite excited about setting up my Christmas tree and decorating it with to my heart's content. My decorating skills have vastly improved over the years, at least that’s how I would like to think :) I will try to post a picture of my Christmas tree in my next post, or the one after that.
However, with Christmas, we have the arrival of the wintery rains and cold days in the Dutch land, and with that, bloom the comfort foods. I really like chickpeas; one can do a vast amount of things with these little beauties and these are truly one of nature's wonder foods. If I am really honest, every time I think about chickpeas, the only dish that comes to my mind is Chhole Bhature (flavourful chickpeas, with soft and puffy fried pancakes). Heaven! I will surely add this recipe sometime in my future posts.
We all are busy people and when pressed for time, quick and delish recipes always win out. This dish is so hearty, delicious, green and fresh that it definitely makes my belly dance.
I wouldn't mind blissfully downing a bottle of white wine with this dish. It would be flavourful, hearty, and comforting.
There are quite a lot of flavours going on here, from the homey warm chickpeas and rice to the soothing fresh mint sauce...
The yield for this recipe is for 1-2 persons, but you can definitely increase the batch by doubling the ingredients if you are cooking for more.
Back to greens and fresh, I haven't added my favourite green chillies in this recipe but please do feel free to add some while cooking chickpeas or sprinkle some during the garnish process.
Spiced up Chickpeas with rice, veggies and mint yoghurt
Serves 1-2 persons
Total time, including prep: 30 minutes
For the chickpeas
1 can of chickpeas, around 240 grams, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
3 big garlic cloves, peeled and minced
salt to taste
For the rice
75 g basmati rice, around 1/2 a cup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 ml water, one cup
For the mint yoghurt
1 small cup natural yoghurt, around 130g
A large handful of fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced or chopped
1 teaspoon sugar, white or brown
3-4 tablespoon milk
For the garnish
A hefty amount of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 small cucumber, sliced into 4 pieces
2 spring onions, chopped
Heat up some olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry them for a few seconds, until they give off a lovely nutty aroma. Then tip in the chickpeas with the coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, salt and minced garlic.
Give everything a good stir so the chickpeas are well coated with the spices and minced garlic. Add a little water (1/4 cup) and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes. The chickpeas are now ready.
Wash the rice in cold water until it runs clear. Drain the rice and pour into a medium sauce pan on a medium-high heat. Pour in water, add some salt, a dash of olive oil, clove, cardamom.
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat so that the water is simmering. Put the lid on and cook for about 9-10 minutes or until the rice is soft and fluffy.
Mix the yoghurt, sugar and fresh mint leaves together and set aside.
Place the rice and chickpeas with the chopped coriander and spring onions sprinkled over the top, and 2 heap spoons of the mint yoghurt with sliced cucumber on the side.
I like to pair this with a glass of white wine but you guys may enjoy it with your favourite drink!