Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
Posted By Savita
In summers, I'm always inventing dinner ideas that are healthy yet are quick and easy.... So, I can serve homemade dinner in no time and keep my family's health in-check.
Served with side of lite-cooked (do check notes on this one) Basmati Rice, easy Chickpea Curry makes flavorful and protein-rich vegetarian main course. Plus just 25 minutes quick cooking promise, always encourages me to serve this on weekdays!
Now before I get carried away with the detail of just how fabulous this recipe tastes, let me clarify a few things…
Curries are staple "dinner" in my home. Ranging from Indian Daal (lentils) to Chicken Curries, we Indians, LOVE our "Curry Dinners"!
Generally speaking, looking at restaurant food outside India, you might think.... "Curry Dinner! So Heavy!! Everyday!!!" That's not true, AT ALL! Indian, everyday curry dinners are very lite and easy on stomach. And, they are not called curries! Curry is, European originated name, given to spiced-Indian-food. In Indian Cuisine, we actually have a name for each of these curries but no one will address it as "curry".......
Like for this one, if you ask: "What's for dinner?" It is, Channa Chawal or Chickpea Rice.
As you can plainly see in the images, this is not a heavy-on-masala kind of Chickpea Curry. And it has cooling touch of yogurt, mixed-in at the end of cooking, for a very balanced and mild curry flavor, and subtle tang of yogurt.
Oh… I should probably mention as well, that Yogurt and Rice is one staple meal, in Indian cuisine, for a very lite and easy-on-stomach meal. Often, when we eat out or when it's very hot and humid... You know, kinda days when it does not feel great to eat heavy food..... On such days, yogurt-and-rice is most popular "lite meal", in many parts of India.
Mixing yogurt into Chickpea Curry provides a light balance to this traditional curry. Also, I used fresh tomatoes and onions to keep the traditional Indian flavor, then added a mild curry powder to spare you from using/buying a long list of Indian Spices. If you fan of Indian cuisine, I'm sure you'll have some curry powder in your pantry.
However, don't worry, if you don't want to use/have curry powder. I have simple fix for you. Just mix equal amount of ground turmeric, paprika, coriander powder, cumin powder and half amount of garam masala, then use 1 tsp out of this mixture. Keep rest in an air-tight container to use in next curry dish. :) It is that simple!
What's all about Lite Cooked Rice?
Before we get into details of lite-cooked Basmati rice, I must tell you that Basamati Rice are long grain and thin rice which cook in 10-12 minutes vs regular thick and short-grain rice need about 20 minutes to cook. So, if you not using Basmati, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Now, about lite cooking method. Traditionally, a cup of rice use 2 cups of water to cook fully. At end of the cooking, water will be fully absorbed by rice. I do that when I'm making any kind of one-pot pilaf.
However, for my everyday dinner-rice, I use 3 cups of water instead of 2 cups, and at end of cooking, I drain the excess water just like you would drain extra pasta water. Draining rice water reduces starch-content of cooked rice and makes'em lite and fit for everyday consumption.
So, if you really like to keep your starch-intake in-check, always cook rice with extra water and drain the excess starch water. Trust me, rice don't really need fancy rice-cookers or much attention to cook. Just water and rice... vigorously boiling until rice are cooked and then draining excess make fluffy and much-lite rice for every day consumption!
Diet Info: Chickpea Curry Dinner is Gluten Free and can be vegan with just one simple change. To keep this Chickpea Curry dairy-free... just replace yogurt with a mild and low-fat Coconut Milk.
Vegan, Gluten Free, or just on tight schedule… Whatever you’re weekday eating need, you can enjoy a little bit of Indian comfort without a side dish of guilt... that too in just 25 minutes!
A few more Easy Weekday Dinner ideas, with Basamti Rice, from my recipe repertoire.
Easy Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
- 1 Cup Basmati Rice
- 3 Cup Water
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 Cup Chickpeas (cooked, or 16 Ounce Can of chickpeas, rinsed)
- 2 Cup Vegetable Stock (low sodium stock or water)
- 2 Shallot Onions (small, or 1/2 of a medium red onion)
- 2 Tomatoes (medium tomatoes)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 tbsp Canola Oil (or olive oil)
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste (Or 1-2 garlic cloves and 1/2 inch ginger)
- 1 tsp Curry Powder (if using mild curry powder, add 1/2 tsp paprika or 1/4 tsp chili flakes)
- 1/4 Cup Yogurt (plain, non-fat yogurt, at room temprature)
- 2 tbsp Cilantro (plus more for garnish, optional)
- Salt (adjust per taste)
DirectionsHide Step Photos
1. Rinse basmati rice under running water. Add to a pot with 3 cups of water and salt. Bring water to boil on high heat, then continue boiling rice for 10-12 minutes or until rice are done to your liking. Once rice are cooked, drain excess water as you would from pasta. Cover and set aside.
Additional NotesI cook rice just like we cook pasta. Using 1 cup extra water and once rice have boiled for 10-12 minutes, check for done-ness, then drain excess water. No need to preserve the liquid.
2. In a food processor, coarse chop/process onion, tomato, garlic, 2 tbsp cilantro, and ginger (if not using paste) Also, remove yogurt from fridge, add 2 tbsp water, mix well, and set aside.
3. In a wide saute pan, heat canola oil. Add cumin seeds and let'em sputter for 20 seconds. Now, add onion and tomato mixture with ginger and garlic. Cook until water evaporates and mixture is soft with little oil showing on sides. (about 5-6 minutes on medium heat)4. Add all dried spices and saute for 1 minute.
5. Now add drained, cooked chickpeas, followed by vegetable stock (or water if using). Stir to combine and bring to boil on high heat.6. Reduce heat to medium and cook until water has been absorbed by sauce and consistency has thickened (about 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat). (no water running on sides as it is absorbed by chickpeas making curry thick, as seen in picture.)
Additional NotesTIP: Using back of stirrer or spatula, mash a few chickpeas while stirring the gravy. This will make curry consistency more thick and well balanced.
7. Switch off the heat, add yogurt into chickpeas while continuously stirring the curry. Very important to keep stirring the gravy while you add yogurt or yogurt might curdle. Taste and adjust salt. Serve over rice with garnish of cilantro and enjoy!
Additional NotesYou can also let curry cool a little and then add yogurt.
By the time rice cook and cool a bit, chickpea curry will be ready. So Total Cook Time is 15 minutes, assuming rice are boiling while curry is cooking.
Vegan? This Chickpea Curry and Rice can be easily adapted to vegan diet. Just replace yogurt with low-fat coconut milk. Note: Always stir coconut mixture well before adding to curry. Don't add additional water which we added for yogurt.
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