Here is some healthy, hearty, nutritious and elegant Wild Rice with (Black) Garbanzo Beans. This is such an easy and versatile dish. Meatless Mondays just got tastier. Read on to find out the recipe.
This is our new favorite dish. A healthy mix of carbs, good quantity of protein and loaded with vegetables. Perfect for Meatless Mondays. Though I serve it as a main dish and we binge on this for our meals, it is good as a warm salad for autumn days and those chilly spring evenings. Keep this recipe handy for days when you have to get dinner in no time at all.
The inspiration for this recipe came from my friend Aparna. Last fall, I had the privilege of dancing with her, a traditional classical South Indian dance called Bharatanatyam. This was for our local Annual Diwali bash, conducted by the Indian Association. She was looking for a partner and I decided to give Bhartanatyam a try with the condition that I will try a few sessions and if I cannot do it, then she has to look for somebody else.
It was way out of my comfort zone, but it was worth a shot!
Boy! I was hooked on to dancing. So much fun.
And we had SO MUCH fun practicing. We would practice for some time, crib about the breathlessness after the first practice, take breaks in between, discuss everything under the sun, from diet to feminism or lack there of… The topics varied, but our enthusiasm for discussions and dance practices was relentless.
Dance practices mostly happened at Aparna’s house and on one such occasion, she prepared a spinach with chana and brown rice. It was so tasty and yummy, that I recreated it at home. I was a little skeptical about how it will be received at home, but Sonshine and my husband have become major fans of this dish.
It has evolved a little bit from the original idea that Aparna shared.
I adapted Aparna’s recipe for this wonderful rice with garbanzo beans to use a mix of wild rice and brown rice. I also make it semi-homemade by using store bought quick-cooking rice varieties (cuts down cooking time so much).
Two of our favorite versions are using Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice and also Seeds Of Change Rice And Quinoa. It cuts down the cooking time considerably because you are not cooking brown rice/ wild rice from scratch.
So, this recipe for wild rice and garbanzo beans is perfect for adding nutrients and vegetables to a store bought semi home made dish.
But, if you have time, please do prepare the rice from scratch.
This dish is versatile in terms of what you can use as your vegetables in this. I typically use zucchini and bell pepper. These add juiciness and freshness to the dish.
You could also try using broccoli and it definitely adds a nice crunch.
I have used kala chana (black garbanzo beans – you should be able to find it either online or in your local Indian grocery stores) for this dish, and I highly recommend it. But if you are hard pressed for time, you could substitute this with canned garbanzo beans as well.
Aparna used peanuts (crunchy peanut butter to be exact) to add crunch, but if you do not like the sweetness of the peanut butter, and want to avoid peanuts (due to allergies), the best substitute would be sunflower seeds.
And before I forget, let me also mention to you about how to increase the absorption of iron content in the spinach by your body. It is a pretty simple technique – use a cast iron pan/skillet (like Lodge cast iron) to prepare the recipe. My research also tells me that combing spinach with foods rich in Vitamin C (like Bell pepper, lemon juice) also helps in absorption of iron. Some people say that spinach turns black when cooked in cast iron, I personally have not experienced that when using lodge cast iron pans. (Reference: Go Ask Alice )
Enjoy a delicious meal.
Wild Rice with (Black) Garbanzo Beans Recipe Notes
- Use vegetables of your liking.
- I do not overcook the vegetables, just enough to caramelize them. I like the vegetables to be juicy but still maintain the crunch (not mushy). Cook vegetables to your preference.
- This can be served as a wholesome meal on its own, or as a warm salad.
- A light squeeze of lemon juice helps perk up the dish.
- I highly recommend using black garbanzo beans for the recipe, but in times of time-crunch, use (canned) garbanzo beans .
- Leftovers can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator and reheated in a microwave oven or a skillet.
- Instead of serving the vegetables as side, you could also mix them in the rice-garbanzo mixture, especially when you plan to serve this as a warm salad.
- Add any additional protein of your choice for added protein content.
- In this recipe, keep in mind that you are adding salt in different phases of cooking.
- My friend used crunchy peanut butter while sauteing the spinach. This gives a subtle sweet note to the dish.
- If you find that the dish is dry, you can add the reserved water from cooking the garbanzo beans. If you are using canned garbanzo beans, use vegetable broth or just plain water. Add just a table spoon or two.
Wild Rice with (Black) Garbanzo Beans Recipe Notes
Here is some healthy, hearty, nutritious and elegant Wild Rice with (Black) Garbanzo Beans. This is such an easy and versatile dish. Meatless Mondays just got tastier.
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 1 packet Uncle Ben's Microwavable long grain and wild rice (substitutions in Recipe Notes)
- 1/2 cup Black Garbanzo beans (Kala Chana); soaked overnight and pressure cooked. Reserve the water.
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes; adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 small zucchini; quartered
- 1 bell pepper (capsicum) cut into 1/2 inch square pieces
- Salt to taste
- Sunflower seeds
- Lemon wedges
- Cook the rice according to package directions.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, once they splutter, lower the heat. Add red chilli flakes and garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Add cooked garbanzo beans and salt. Stir.
- Add chopped spinach and let it wilt.
- Add the cooked rice to the garbanzo beans-spinach mix and stir to combine. (if you find it too dry, add a tablespoon of the reserve garbanzo beans water). Adjust the seasoning. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
- To the same skillet, add a little more oil and zucchini, bell pepper and salt and saute till the vegetables are cooked to your preference. Toss the rice mixture back into the skillet and stir well to combine.
- Serve warm, garnished with sunflower seeds, lemon wedges and cilantro.
1. Cooking chana on a stove top without a pressure cooker.
I never cook dried beans directly over a stove top. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can cook it on the stove top, but it will take a really long time to cook perfectly. I guess they would take anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hrs (maybe more). After soaking, drain the water and add fresh water. Bring the water and beans to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the beans till they are tender. Check for doneness by smashing the beans between your thumb and index finger - When it easily smashes, it is done.
2. Pressure cook chana;
Drain the soaked chana and add it to the pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Close the cooker and put the whistle on. Cook on high heat till the cooker lets out one whistle. Lower the heat to medium and pressure cook for another 20-25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the steam escape on its own (about 5-8 minutes).
3. Use vegetables of your liking.
4. I do not over cook the vegetables, just enough to caramelize them. I like the vegetables to be juicy but still maintain the crunch (not mushy). Cook vegetables to your preference.
5. This can be served as a wholesome meal on its own, or as a warm salad.
6. A light squeeze of lemon juice helps perk up the dish.
7. I highly recommend using black garbanzo beans for the recipe, but in times of time-crunch, use (canned) garbanzo beans .
8. Instead of microwaveable rice, you could also use a microwaveable rice and quinoa mix. You could also use cooked brown rice or just plain quinoa for the recipe. 9.Leftovers can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator and reheated in a microwave oven or a skillet.
10.Instead of serving the vegetables as side, you could also mix them in the rice-garbanzo mixture, especially when you plan to serve this as a warm salad.
10. Add any additional protein of your choice for added protein content.
11.In this recipe, keep in mind that you are adding salt in different phases of cooking.
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