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Chickpea rice (chana ka pillou)

Home » Project » Chickpea rice (chana ka pillou)


This recipe comes from Zeenat, who is running our online Indian cooking, laughter yoga and mindfulness sessions. It goes well with yogurt and a curry sauce, or with just a salad or some roasted vegetables.



  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 and a half mugs of white basmati rice (can also use brown rice but will need to increase cooking time by 20 minutes and add half a mug more of water)
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 red dried chillis
  • 10 peppercorns
  • Half a teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 mugs of hot water (use the same mug used to measure the rice



1. Peel the onion and slice it thinly. Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and cook on a low heat, stirring from time to time, until golden brown – about 20 minutes.

2. Once the onions are almost done, add the cinnamon, dried chillis, peppercorns and salt.

3. Drain the chickpeas and add these to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the chickpeas are slightly brown.

4. Add the water to the pan and bring to the boil. Wash the rice and add this to the pan.

5. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. If the rice looks too dry and has absorbed the water, add a little more water.

6. Lightly toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan (no oil needed) on a low heat for a few minutes.

7. Once your rice has cooked, sprinkle over the cumin seeds and keep on a low heat for 5 more minutes.