Reader Recipes: Laura P’s Chickpea Rice

Laura said… “Here’s another Chickpea recipe from my kitchen. I often joke of my 101 Ways With Chickpeas, so expect more!

It’s a bit long-winded I know – I find it ever so difficult to be concise – but I think missing out any element of the instructions would mean a pot of burnt, stuck, useless rice.

This is a delicious and well-worth-the-extra-faff recipe, as opposed to plain boiled rice, should you have the time or inclination to faff that is.”

This serves 2 people generously as an accompaniment to a curry. Would be equally delicious with chilli, fajitas, an omelette – that sort of thing. Also, very nice cold for lunch the next day. It’s a nicely balanced meal on its own, but very very mmmmm with chopped cooked chicken or tinned tuna – if you had some.

Use 100g value rice, well rinsed in advance. It is worth taking the time to rinse the rice until the water is as clear as you can get it. You will have the end result of far fluffier, nicely dry, non-soggy rice, and less sticking to the pan.

Start with a dry pot and heat up a dessertspoon of oil – to a medium heat. To this, add a finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until it is beginning to soften. At that stage add the following – miss out what you don’t have, and if you have none of these, fine, no worries. It will be a nice plain rice dish which will not suffer being without any flavoured seasoning.

Here’s the seasonings I like to add:-

Teaspoon of Turmeric
Teaspoon of Paprika
Half a Teaspoon powdered garlic
Half a Teaspoon Garam Masala
Half a Teaspoon Salt

The oil will have been mostly absorbed and cooked off by now so your pan will seem very dry, especially with all the powdered spices you have just added. Be very brave and stir, stir, stir away furiously!! Cooking the spices together with the onion in this way really adds to the colour, flavour and overall appearance of the dish. If you are concerned and it does seem to be sticking or clumping together though, add a splash of water as needed. It should really sizzle. This process of cooking the spices and the onion only needs to last for a minute or so.

Next step is to add the washed rice, and cover with boiled water from the kettle (for quickness). I don’t have an exact measurement for this, I can picture and judge using my own cooking pot how deep to make the water level. I would probably explain it though, by looking at how ‘high up’ or ‘deep’ in your pan the rice, spread evenly, is sitting – pour in enough water to not only cover this but pour in a further inch of water over and above that.

Add to the pan half a 400g tin of chickpeas, or what amounts to 35g (ish) dried chickpeas, once soaked and cooked (whatever that cooked weight ends up being. I never weigh dried/soaked/cooked chickpeas once cooked…)

The pan should be bubbling and boiling nicely almost straight away, as you have used pre-boiled water. Use a tightly fitting lid to close the pan, and turn the heat right down to a simmer. This should be cooked and lovely, 15 minutes later. During this 15 minutes, I would go back to the pot a couple of times, holding the lid secure, and shake about just to mix everything nicely and prevent sticking. Do not remove the lid or stir the mixture.

The end result should be dry and fluffy rice, nicely cooked (try a bit to make sure) with no water remaining. If no depth of water visibly remains in the pan, yet you feel it all looks a bit ‘wet’ or sticky, turn the heat off and pop a teatowel over the top of the pan and clamp the lid on tightly. A lot of the moisture should be absorbed into the teatowel, whilst retaining the heat. You could easily leave the pan sitting in this way for 15 or 20 minutes without the rice cooling any.

Kind regards,


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Categories: Recipes & Food


  1. We don’t have a standard “dessert spoon” here in the US. When you write your cookbook could you please list the ingredients in milliliters, 5 ml equals a teaspoon, or ounces? Thanks, Ann

    • I could be wrong, but I think what we call a dessert spoon, American’s call a tablespoon. It’s 15ml or 3 teaspoons. What we call a tablespoon is bigger than that.

  2. I’ve got a big bag of chickpeas in the cupboard… I think I’ll get a few soaking for this! With a bit of chicken from the freezer it could be our dinner tomorrow. Sounds yummy.

  3. Best way to know how much water to use when you use this method of cooking rice (absorption) is to measure the rice you’re using in a measuring jug and then use double the amount of boiling water. 100ml rice = 200ml water and so on.

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