Spinach and chickpea rice

This aromatic, vegetarian main course from Anjum Anand makes an easy, mid-week meal
By Anjum Anand
Spinach and chickpea rice
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 200 g baby spinach
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ghee or melted butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1-3 green chillies, according to taste, pricked with a fork
  • 1 heaped tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 200 g canned chickpeas, (drained weight)
  • 300 g cooked basmati rice
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • raita, to serve (optional)

Method

1. Tip the spinach into a large saucepan with 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook over a medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Drain through a sieve, squeeze out any excess water, then tip into a food processor and blend to a smooth purée.

2. Heat the oil and ghee in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorns and cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds or until the cumin is aromatic.

3. Stir in the onion and chillies and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until turning golden brown at the edges, then stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute.

4. Add the ground coriander, garam masala and ground cumin and season with a pinch of salt. Stir in a splash of water and cook for 1 minute.

5. Add the chickpeas and spinach, stir well to incorporate then cook for 1-2 minutes, until any excess moisture has evaporated. Stir in the rice and heat through.

6. Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with raita, if using.

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