Spicy rice with chickpeas

This lightly curried rice dish makes a simple yet satisfying vegetarian meal, with the chickpeas providing valuable protein. Serve with a yogourtraita (page 27) and mango chutney. A fresh, green, baby spinach leaf salad would also make a good accompaniment to this meal.


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 onion, sliced

1⁄4 cup medium curry paste

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed

2 cups water

1 orange sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks

4 tomatoes, chopped

1⁄4 cup sultanas

398 ml can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro

1⁄3 cup unsalted cashew nuts, roughly chopped


1.Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onion over a medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring until pale golden. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for about 1 minute.

2.Stir in the rice, then add the water, sweet potato, tomatoes and sultanas. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and leave on a low heat for 20’25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is just tender and the water has been absorbed. Add a little more water if the mixture becomes too dry before the rice is cooked.

3.Stir in the chickpeas and gently heat through. Stir in the cilantro, season to taste and scatter with the cashew nuts before serving.

Cook’s tips’ Choose a curry paste without any shrimp paste to make this suitable for vegetarians. ‘ The rice needs to be rinsed thoroughly, in a sieve under cold running water, before cooking. This removes excess starch so the rice will be light and fluffy when cooked.

Variation’ If you like, you could add a small amount of diced firm tofu at the end of cooking, or for a non-vegetarian version, some diced, cooked chicken.

Serves 4

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 35 minutes


Each serving

12 g protein ‘ 17.5 g fat of which 2.5 g saturates ‘ 42 g carbohydrate ‘ 11 g fibre ‘ 394 Calories


Spicy rice with chickpeas
Print Recipe

Related content:

  • Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower with NutsSpiced Potatoes and Cauliflower with Nuts The warm, golden colour and flavour of saffron with a mild kick of ginger help to make this vegetable curry a real winner. Garlic is an important ingredient not just for flavour, but for […] Posted in
  • Shrimp and mango baltiShrimp and mango balti A tasty curry with a spicy kick, mellowed with reduced-fat coconut milk. The addition of fresh mango not only adds to the colour and appeal, but boosts the vitamin content of the dish. […] Posted in
  • Lentil and Cashew Nut RoastLentil and Cashew Nut Roast Not only are low-fat lentils richer in protein than many other legumes, but their slightly smoky flavour makes a great base for this tasty nut roast, packed with colourful vegetables and […] Posted in

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy


News: Giving birth in your 20s can lower risk of breast cancer

Thinking of holding off on having a baby? If you’re in your 20s, you might want to start trying now.A new study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, shows that breast cancer risk is reduced in women who give birth in their 20s."Early full-term pregnancy is one of the most effective natural protections against […]


Catch Us At The Delicious Food Show This Weekend!

Chef and teacher Paul Finkelstein (pictured), a regular contributor to Best Health, will team up with me to do a demonstration of two "Dynamic Duo" dishes at this weekend’s Delicious Food Show. The show, sponsored by The Food Network, will feature all the big names in food, including Martha Stewart, Chuck Hughes, Lynn Crawford, Mark […]


Toasted turkey and pastrami bagels

With pastrami (cured, smoked meat) and bagels, the inspiration for this thick, filling sandwich can only be Montreal. But unlike that city’s favourite snack, this version includes herby, light cream cheese and lean turkey. It is perfect for a tasty lunch-time bite.

How you can help victims of Haiti’s earthquake

In the wake of yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti,  U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-Moon is calling on the international community to aid the already impoverished nation. A spokesperson for the International Red Cross says an estimated 3 million people need assistance, reports the Globe and Mail.If you’d like to help the victims of Haiti’s earthquake, […]