Edited on 01/04/2021 to improve readability and to include more information. 🙂
Here is some healthy, hearty, nutritious and elegant Wild Rice with Garbanzo Beans. This is such an easy and versatile dish. Meatless Mondays just got tastier.
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.
Ingredients in wild rice with garbanzo beans
- Microwavable long grain and wild rice
- Garbanzo beans (Kala Chana)
- garlic cloves
- red chilli flakes
- cumin seeds (jeera)
- bell pepper (capsicum)
- Salt to taste
how do you make wild rice with garbanzo beans
- cook the rice according to package directions
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add cumin seeds, red chilli flakes and garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Add cooked garbanzo beans and salt.
- Add chopped spinach and let it wilt.
- Add the cooked rice to the garbanzo beans-spinach mix and stir to combine.
- To the same skillet, add a little more oil and zucchini, bell pepper and salt and sauté till the vegetables are cooked to your preference. Toss the rice mixture back into the skillet and stir well to combine.
can you use any other types of rice to prepare this dish?
- I have used microwaveable rice (which gets ready in about 90 seconds) to keep the cooking time short. But if you prefer, you can cook wild rice from scratch and use it in the recipe.
- Brown rice works well in the dish.
- Red rice also is perfect to prepare the dish.
- Please prepare the rice in advance and let it cook down a little bit before using it in the recipe.
- Also note that some of the microwaveable rice has some additional seasonings in them along with salt, which also adds an extra flavor to the final dish. If you are making rice from scratch, consider adding salt while cooking the rice and/or increase the spices used to toss the rice + vegetables.
what is kala chana and how do i cook it?
Kala chana is the brown variety of garbanzo beans. This is very popular in Indian cuisine. You will find the dried variety in your local Indian store or online stores easily. Cooking kala chana on stove top involves two steps:
1. Soaking Kala Chana
I never cook dried beans directly over a stovetop. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can cook it on the stovetop, 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).
Sometimes, the quality of chana you get is bad, or it is little too dry. If that is the case and chana is not cooked well in spite of cooking for 25 minutes, cook longer, add additional water if required.
can i use canned garbanzo beans instead?
Yes, you definitely can use canned garbanzo beans to mix with the wild rice. I have received good feedback from readers over at Pinterest where they have to use canned garbanzo beans. It cuts down considerable time in soaking and cooking the Kala chana.
what are the vegetables that you can use in this recipe?
Any of your favorite vegetables can be used:
- Bell pepper (any color)
- Beet leaves
I like the vegetables to have a crunch in them. SO I do not cook them to a mush. Just a quick stir fry in spiced oil does the trick.
two ways to serve wild rice with garbanzo beans
Method 1 : Follow the recipe completely. And serve everything tossed together.
Method 2 : Follow the recipe up until step 7. DO not toss the rice with the vegetables, but instead serve the vegetable as a side. This method works if you have picky eater and would not try certain vegetables. 🙂
Leftovers can be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheating the vegetables in the microwave makes them loose their crunch.
Inspiration for this dish 🙂
The inspiration for this wild rice with garbanzo beans combination came from my friend Aparna. She had made this for me when I visted her a few years back.
She prepared a spinach with chana and brown rice. It was so tasty and yummy, that I recreated it at home.
It has evolved a little bit from the original idea that Aparna shared.
I am not surprised that this is one of the most popular recipes on the blog. Quick and easy to make, but at the same time, is loaded with nutritious vegetables and beans, it is definitely a must-have in your go-to recipes.
When I am really hard pressed for time, I use some short cuts like microwaveable rice, for e.g. Uncle Ben's Ready Rice.
You can buy it in regular grocery stores in the US. You can buy it online on Amazon too.
More recipes to try
Have you checked out these super duper easy recipes on the blog? Give it a try, I am sure you will love these.
- Peach Yogurt Breakfast Bowl is the answer to how-to-get-breakfast-ready-in-5-minutes!!! Your very own Sunshine breakfast!
- Vegan Spinach Berry Smoothie is a healthy and nutritious way to start your day.
- Avocado Toast- because eating healthy should be easy.
Wild Rice with 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.
- Adjust the spices/seasonings used to suit your taste.
Wild Rice with (Black)Garbanzo Beans
- 1 packet Uncle Ben's Microwavable long grain and wild rice substitutions in Recipe Notes
- ½ 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 ½ 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.