Pilaf Rice with Chickpeas

Pilaf rice is great accompaniment to curries, stews, barbecued and roasted dishes.

4 Portions


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 5cm ginger, peeled & chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250g basmati rice, rinsed & left in cold water for 20 minutes
  • 1 pinch of saffron strands (optional)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 600ml vegetable/chicken stock (you may use stock cubes)
  • 150g drained canned chickpeas
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp. currants (optional)
  • 100g shelled pistachios, toasted (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Heat an oven to 175°C. In a large oven-proof saucepan, melt the butter, add the onion and ginger, and sauté for 5 minutes so that they are soft.
  2. Strain the rice and add to the pan, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic, cardamom pods, saffron (if using) & cinnamon to the rice and stir over the heat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in enough stock to cover the rice generously and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chickpeas. Cover the rice with buttered parchment paper & a lid.
  5. Place the rice in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes; the stock should all be absorbed and the rice tender. If the rice is still not cooked and the stock is all gone add a little more boiling stock or water and place in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  6. When cooked, remove from the oven and stir in the tomatoes, currants, pistachios (optional), coriander and lime or lemon juice and distribute well. Serve.