Recipe Shed – Pilau Rice with Chick Peas

So the theme for the Recipe Shed this week is “Pasta, Pulses and Rice“.  I’m going for 2 out of 3.  If I could’ve thought of a way to get pasta in there, it’d be perfect.

I could’ve cheated and pointed you back to the creamy ham and pasta I put up a while back but I’ll resist.  I’ll save that trick for a week when I really can’t be bothered!

Anyway.  This is another recipe that came from the fantastic Indian cookery course I took.  Can be done from start to finish in about an hour.  Serves loads


  • 2 cups good quality Basmati rice
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 tins of chick peas, drained and washed.
  • 1 ladle vegetable oil
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1tbs whole cumin seeds
  • 1tbs garlic & ginger puree (equal quantities garlic & ginger, blended together with a little oil.  Make it in a large batch, keep it in the fridge for when it’s needed)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 chilli
  • 3tsp salt


  1. Wash the rice (change the water several times) and allow to soak in plenty of cold water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan add onions and fry until they start turning golden
  3. Add all of the above spices (apart from the cumin seeds) then after 5 minutes add the garlic & ginger, chopped tomatoes and chilli.  Fry until the onions are a deep golden colour.  Add chick peas and gently fry for 10 minutes.  Add the cumin seeds.
  4. Add 3 cups of boiled water, 2tsp of salt, mix gently using a metal spoon.  Taste.  The water should taste salty.  If it doesn’t, add more salt.  Bring to the boil.
  5. Drain the rice and add to the pan, stirring only once.  Make sure the heat is on it’s highest and allow the rice to absorb the water until you see little “pot holes” appearing on the rice.  Turn the heat right down, put on a tight-fitting lid.  DO NOT STIR ANYTHING AT THIS POINT!  Steam the rice for 10 minutes more, gently shake the pan or use a long fork to fluff up the rice.
Serve with crispy fried onions on top.
I don’t make this as often as I should.  It’s gorgeous.  And now I’m extremely hungry.  Enjoy!

2 responses to “Recipe Shed – Pilau Rice with Chick Peas”

  1. Hi John

    I just saw your comment at the Recipe Shed and decided I had to have a look.

    Unfortunately it’s too late to eat right now. Your recipe has made me quite hungry. I like recipes that can be made quickly that taste fantastic.

    I can see your recipe would do the job just fine.

    Hope to keep in touch. Great post.

  2. Hey John, Sounds delicious. Going to make it to go with lamb kofta curry tonight, so cheers. I like the use of the black cardamoms for a smoky flavour.
    Next week’s Recipe Shed theme is PRESERVES AND CHUTNEYS and it’s going to be hosted by TheBoyAndMe as I’m taking my lads to see their granddad in Manchester.
    All the best

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