I grew up in a typical Punjabi household where everyday food was a vegetable, dal, and chapatis. Rice was reserved for the weekends, the quintessential rajma- chawal or kadhi- chawal lunch on Sundays, followed by a long quiet afternoon. The rare days when mum was too tired to cook or couldn't come up with anything else, we would get vegetable pulao with raita.
The everyday traditional simple meals still continue in this house. However, over the years I've developed a penchant for rice and now it makes a regular occurrence on our table. Pulaos make a quick, healthy weeknight meal. I enjoy mixing it up with various ingredients, eggs, soya nuggets, chicken, and the best of all seasonal vegetables. And that's how the Fresh Green Chickpea (Chholiya) Pulao came about.
Nowadays every vegetable vendor is selling beautiful, vibrant - green chickpeas. Do make the most of these little gems while they are abundantly available. They add a light, refreshing flavor, much like peas and can be used in plenty of recipes.... salads, soups, curries. These nutritionally dense nuggets are excellent sources of fiber, protein, B- vitamins, iron and phosphorous.
Since I'm on a clean eating 30-day plan, I have cut out on all refined flour and white rice too. Ergo, this Fresh Green Chickpea (Chholiya) Pulao was made with brown rice. While we love the chewy, nutty complexity that it brings, there may some who have reservations about using brown rice in pulao. But please remember, there is nothing that a well-cooked mixture of caramelized onions and tomatoes combined with aromatic whole spices and heady garam masala can't lift up to delectable heights!!
How Can I Make This Fresh Green Chickpea (Chholiya) Pulao
This Pulao can be served with any raita of your choice or any kind of vegetable or curry too. It looks wonderfully festive and is really simple to make.
Once you've heated oil in a pan, the whole spices are added. As soon as they splutter, throw in the onions. Cook until lightly browned. This gives so much flavor to the dish!
Then the chopped tomatoes go in with the salt, coriander powder, and garam masala. Then go in the green chickpeas and carrots. These need to be cooked for just a minute or so.
Now the rice gets added in. It should be gently stirred so it's well coated with all the spices. Add the water and let the pulao cook for 40-50 minutes...or as long as it will take for your brown rice to cook well.
A mandatory squeeze of lemon juice to the rice gives a lovely zing to the dish.
And that's it! I love garnishing my pulao with pomegranates and roasted cashews. A light sprinkle of cilantro or coriander adds a touch of freshness and bright color.
I hope you will enjoy this wonderful wholesome Fresh Green Chickpea (Chholiya) Pulao as much as we do. Eating seasonal, healthy meals does not have to be boring at all!
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Fresh Green Chickpea ( Chholiya) Pulao
- 1 cup Brown rice Rinsed and soaked for minimum 30 minutes
- 2 medium Onions Sliced thinly
- 4 small Tomatoes Diced finely
- 2 medium Carrots Diced
- 200 gms Green Chickpeas Rinsed well
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 2 pcs Bay leaves
- 4-5 pcs Green cardamom
- 4 pcs Black cardamom
- 2 pcs Dried red chilli
- 4 pcs Cloves
- 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1.5 tsp Cumin
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2.5 cups Water
- 2 tsp Lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Coriander, Roasted Cashews, Pomegranate for garnishing ( Optional)
- Cucumber Raita for serving
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan on medium heat. Add cumin. As soon as it starts spluttering, add the whole spices: cinnamon stick, red chilli, bay leaves, cardamoms and cloves. Stir for about 30 seconds before adding the garam masala and coriander. Stir for another 30 secs before adding the onions.
- Cook the onions until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add salt and tip in the tomatoes.
- Cook the tomatoes till softened, approximately 6-8 minutes. Add the carrots and green chickpeas. Cook for a couple minutes before adding the rice. Stir the rice with the masala to coat the grains.
- Pour in the water. Cover the pan and let the water come to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let the rice cook for 40-50 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, gently stir in lemon juice. Garnish with cashews, pomegranates, fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with a cool cucumber raita. Enjoy!!
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