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Indian Style Rice and Beans

May 20, 2009
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indian-style-rice-and-beansI had volunteered at Sia’s school to cook something for the healthy table at the fair. The foods at that table have had vegan, ethnic and healthy desserts in the past. I initially thought of baking a healthy bread or the chocolate zucchini bread I posted a few days ago- but then I  thought maybe I should make a one pot rice dish instead – and maybe even a vegetarian one. The recipe on this blog calls for chicken broth but I made it with water for the fair. I decided to make a pulao, which is a rice dish that can include vegetables, beans or meat. I usually make a pulao with vegetables or meat- I thought maybe I should do an Indian version of rice and beans. Mexican and Indian flavors have so much in common, especially cumin, cilantro and the chilies. I wanted to include the cilantro sauce my grandma used to add to her pea rice dish. It is such a great way to give great flavor to the rice- cilantro, onion and garlic are blended and cooked with cumin before basmati rice is added. It is delicious! I decided to combine the two cuisines and come up with a one pot meal! I am in love with one pot meals- they are so convenient, especially if they are kid friendly. In this case, the rice has the protein from the beans- so I would pair it with a salad and call it a day. My daughter does not like salad dressing, so she eats lettuce without anything! – how weird it that??  I guess whatever works for her- I tell her she is missing out on all the delicious salad dressings out there but then she doesn’t like ketchup either! I digress- the rice dish was a big hit at the fair. I added raisins to it- I can’t help myself- I love the sweet juice right in the middle of the savory cilantro and garlic flavor. I was a little concerned about some people not liking the sweet with the savory but I think it was okay. The kids and adults enjoyed it!

  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 15.5 oz canned chickpeas- washed and drained
  • 1 15.5 oz canned red kidney beans- washed and drained
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • Salt to taste
  • 1½ cup cilantro
  • 1 medium onion, chopped rough
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ water

Blend the cilantro, onion, garlic and water until smooth. Keep aside.

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and add the cumin seeds. Cook till the seeds begin to sizzle, about a minute. Add the blended cilantro mixture and sauté on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the rice and sauté for another minute. Add the beans, chicken broth and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium once bubbles begin to form on the surface. Add the raisins. Lower the heat and place the lid once the liquid has evaporated. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or till the rice is done. Adjust seasonings.

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