I think you are going to love the spicy chickpea biryani!
If you want to cook a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal, you can’t really go wrong with this Pakistani chickpea biryani.
Today I decided to make it for about the third time this year but I changed my recipe ever so slightly. No, I’m not going biryani crazy but I have been adjusting the recipe to feature in a new cookbook I’m writing.
If you have any haberano Psycho Juice hot sauce on hand, use it in this! Really good but you can use more chillies instead or if you prefer a milder chickpea biryani, use fewer.
Not just for vegetarians!
I’m trying to add more vegetarian dishes to my blog as I get asked for them a lot.
Even if you aren’t vegetarian though, you should still give this a try. It’s hugely popular in Pakistan and also norther India at street food stalls.
Believe me, you won’t miss the meat with all those delicious chickpeas and spices.
How to get this chickpea biryani recipe right…
Many people fear cooking rice because it doesn’t cook the way they want it to.
With this chickpea biryani recipe you really can’t go wrong. The rice is first brought to a boil in water or stock for 7 minutes. Yes, that 7 minutes time is exact and important.
Try the rice after 7 minutes and you will see that it is almost cooked to perfection but still a little hard. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and leave it for another 7 minutes. It is essential that no steam escapes during this steaming so cover the pan tightly first with foil if you don’t have a tight fitting lid.
If you find that the rice is still not cooked to your liking, you can always add a drop more water, bring it to a boil and let it steam longer. Watch it though. You don’t want to overcook it and the combined 14 minute cook always works for me.
About basmati rice
It is also important to wash the rice in at least three changes of water to wash off all the excess starch. Then allow it to soak for at least an hour before cooking or longer.
When it comes to Basmati rice, you get what you pay for. Cheaper rice may fail to impress. I use Veetee brand, especially when cooking a biryani.
Step by step photos…
Recipe for the simple raita I made…
I really just through this together but it was perfect with the chickpea biryani.
It was whisked yoghurt, one tablespoon garlic and ginger paste, 1 tbsp hot sauce and salt to taste. Then I added just a bit of lime juice, also to taste. Easy!
- 250ml (1 cup) rapeseed (canola) oil
- 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 2 black cardamom pods, bruised or 4 more greed cardamom pods
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 5 cloves
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (more or less to taste)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 – 3 green chillies, finely chopped (more or less to taste)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 x 400g tinned (canned) chickpeas
- 3 tbsp natural plain yoghurt
- 4 small Pakistani lemons or two larger lemons, cut in half
- 400g (2 cups) long grain Basmati rice
- 750ml (3 cups) water, chicken or vegetable stock
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat and when visibly hot, add the sliced onions. Fry for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. I fry the onions until they are a deep brown but be careful if doing this as there is only a couple seconds between deliciously browned and burnt!
- Transfer to a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Then pour all but two tablespoons of the oil into a container for future use. You don’t want to throw that away as it’s flavoured oil and can be used to provide another layer of flavour in any curry that calls for onions.
- Over medium-high heat add the whole spices to the remaining oil in the pan and infuse their flavours into the oil for about 40 seconds. Now add the chilli powder, hot sauce, tomatoes, green chillies, garlic and ginger and fry for about two minutes, stirring well to make a thick sauce.
- Stir in the yoghurt one tablespoon at a time. Stir in all but a couple of tablespoons of the fried onions followed by the chickpeas and continue stirring to coat the chickpeas.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the mixture and then throw them in too. Add the soaked rice and again stir to combine before adding the water or stock.
- Bring this all to a rolling boil and then cook for 7 minutes. The rice will be almost cooked after that time and the liquid will be almost dissolved too.
- Take off the heat and cover with a lid. It is essential that no steam escapes so cover the pan tightly with foil before adding the lid if you don't have a tight fitting lid.
- Carefully stir the biryani with a fork. Don’t stir too hard or the delicate rice grains will split.
- Taste it and season with more salt if desired. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately with a good raita and some more lemon wedges.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 540mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g