1 cup basmati rice (or any long grained rice - leftover rice works great too)
1 to 1-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tsp fennel seeds (or cumin seeds)
1 bay leaf
2-3 whole cardamom pods
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup frozen peas
About 1/2 cup toasted wholegrain bread cubes for garnish (optional)
Salt to taste
A few sprigs of cilantro to garnish
1. Soak rice for about 20 minutes in some water.
2. This helps the grain to remain separate while cooking although it`s completely optional.
3. Heat oil in a skillet add fennel.
4. Once aromatic, add the onions, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf , turmeric, salt and give it a quick toss.
5. Add the carrots and stir for another 40 seconds or so.
6. Add the rice (if presoaked, drain it well).
7. Saute well until aromatic and the rice becomes translucent.
8. Add 2 cups of water (you might need 1 cup of water more or less depending on the quality of rice).
9. Cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the rice is cooked and you see all the water is absorbed.
10. Add the chickpeas along with frozen vegetables.
11. Give it a gentle stir and garnish with cilantro.
12. If using cooked rice, add carrots along with frozen vegetables.
13. Let them cook until soft.
13. Add chickpeas and once mixed, add the cooked rice.
14. Give it a mix and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the rice is warmed thoroughly and all the vegetables have combined well with the rice.
15. Instead of fried bread croutons, I dry toasted wholegrain bread and garnished it with the rice.
16. Any curry and raita will go well with this rice.