Saffron-cumin rice with chickpeas -potato curry…

by Sunita on July 26, 2007

We’ve been having quite a lot of chickpeas the last couple of days. In a spur of absentmindedness, I had soaked double the amount required, which meant that we had to have it a bit more frequently. Well, not that we mind, for all four of us are quite fond of it.

With the kids around, the mind does have to be at several places…but then, I have no complaints as the sound of their laughter and their scurrying feet brings a sort of cheerfulness to the house. The house is, of course, constantly in a state of mess, and I have to admit that it is not all that amusing; but then, when I think that once they return to their school schedule, the house will be plunged again in solemness, the mess becomes much more bearable.

Coming back to the chickpeas, for today’s dinner, we had saffron-cumin rice with potato-chickpeas curry. The simple and light flavours of the rice complemented the spiciness of the chickpeas and we enjoyed a hearty meal. With a fresh salad on the side, the meal was complete. This is how I went about it…

The chickpeas-potato curry-
What’s needed-

5-6 handfuls of chickpeas, soaked for 6-8 hours or overnight
1 onion, sliced
2-3 pods of garlic, chopped
2-3 potatoes, washed, chopped, boiled, peeled and kept aside
1 tomato, sliced
1 inch stick of cinnamon
2-3 pods of cardamom
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 whole red chilli
1 bay leaf
1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, and garam masala powders
3 tblsp of yogurt
1 tsp sugar
2 tblsp oil
salt to taste

How to-

  1. Boil the chickpeas in slightly salty water till done 3/4ths of the way. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan.
  3. Add the cuminseeds, whole red chilli, bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon.
  4. When the seeds begin to splutter, add the sugar.
  5. When the sugar begins to melt, add the onion and garlic and fry till the onions are translucent.
  6. Add the tomato, turmeric and cumin powders and cook covered over low flame till the tomato is mushy.
  7. Add the yogurt and cook for a few seconds.
  8. Add the potatoes and chickpeas. Mash 2-3 pieces of potato and a little of the chickpeas.
  9. Add 1- 1 and 1/2 glasses of water.
  10. Season with salt and cook covered over medium flame till the chickpeas are completely done and the gravy thickens.
  11. Add the garam masala powder and simmer for a minute.
  12. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice/ roti/poories etc.

The saffron-cumin rice-
What’s needed-

1 glass of rice , washed, soaked in water for 8-10 minutes and drained
1/2 tsp of saffron strands, soaked in 5-6 tblsp water
2 tblsp of cumin seeds
2 tblsp of oil
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

How to-

  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the cumin seeds.
  3. When the seeds begin to splutter, add the sugar and follow immediately with the rice.
  4. Fry the rice over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring continuously, till it is crispy.
  5. Add 1 and 1/2 glasses of water.
  6. Season with salt and cook covered over low flame till all the water is dissolved(approximately 10 minutes).
  7. At this stage, the rice may be undercooked. Add a little more water, in fact sprinkle handfuls and cook covered again. Check every now and then or the rice will burn at the bottom. Continue adding water in this way till the rice is cooked. Again, take care that the rice is not overcooked and mushy.
  8. Drizzle the saffron water irregularly over the rice and cook for half a minute.
  9. With a flat spatula, gently stir the rice.
  10. Remove from heat. Keep covered for 2 minutes so that the flavours are properly infused.
  11. Serve hot with a spicy curry.

We had our’s with the above chickpeas-potato curry and a fresh salad… the mildness of the rice with the spiciness of the curry, was really pleasing. Talk about opposites attracting ;) !!!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Poonam July 26, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Guess I havent been here before..Looks yummy!


2 Asha July 26, 2007 at 8:45 pm

Beautiful photo Sunita! I loved it.
Kabuli chana is full of protein,so you can eat more than a day.Both are great recipes,thank you:)


3 sunita July 26, 2007 at 8:54 pm

Asha,we didn’t mind as we all love it…and of course, the health benefits make it all the more worthwhile:)


4 sunita July 26, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Poonam,thanks…btw, you definitely haven’t been here before, so welcome to my blog…nice to have you over…


5 Saju July 26, 2007 at 9:09 pm

that looks so delicious. I like your blog by the way


6 sunita July 26, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Saju, thanks…words of encouragement are always welcome :)


7 KitchenAromas July 26, 2007 at 10:15 pm

First time here! That plate looks absolutely delicious!


8 musical July 26, 2007 at 10:25 pm

What a lovely spread it is, Sunita. chhole-chawal is my favorite food! i totally don’t mind having an overdoes of chickpeas ;) .


9 Suganya July 26, 2007 at 11:15 pm

I make this rice quite often. It is tasty.


10 Sharmi July 26, 2007 at 11:34 pm

that saffron rice looks heavenly! lovely combination. I am hungry!!


11 Sandeepa July 27, 2007 at 12:51 am

That looks so inviting.I have not added potatoes to chickpeas before….loved it


12 Richa July 27, 2007 at 2:58 am

hey saffron rice is a nice change & chole always the ever green :)


13 sunita July 27, 2007 at 5:07 am

kitchenaromas, welcome to my world…nice to have you over…


14 sunita July 27, 2007 at 5:08 am

Musical, thanks…even we don’t mind the ‘overdose’ of chickpeas:)


15 sunita July 27, 2007 at 5:09 am

Suganya, I too love the subtle flavours of this rice…


16 sunita July 27, 2007 at 5:10 am

Sharmi, thanks…wish I could send some over ;)


17 sunita July 27, 2007 at 5:11 am

Sandeepa,thanks… we Assamese are very good at adding potatoes everywhere…the kids love them :)


18 sunita July 27, 2007 at 5:14 am

Richa, thanks…chole is wonderful, isn’t it :)


19 sra July 27, 2007 at 9:28 am

I like the idea of the saffron-cumin rice, look forward to making it some day!


20 Patricia Scarpin July 27, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Love rice and love chickpeas – great dish, Sunita!


21 TBC July 27, 2007 at 2:52 pm

I’m not sure if I ‘ve been here before. That plate of food looks so tempting! Saffron cumin rice sounds good.


22 Mishmash ! July 27, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Sunita….it’s always so touching the way you write about your kids, their laughter and what not…..perhaps you should think about writing down your thoughts seriously in some other form…



23 Sia July 27, 2007 at 3:48 pm

so the little ones r enjoying their summer hols?
i love jeera-saffron rice n make it very often as we both take rice items for lunch. any curry tastes fantastic with this rice:) love the pictures…


24 sunita July 27, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Sra, it’s a very simple dish and goes well with almost any curry…do give it a try…have a nice weekend.


25 sunita July 27, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Patricia, thanks and thanks for dropping by…


26 sunita July 27, 2007 at 7:30 pm

Shn,those are such overwhelming words…thanks…maybe someday…have a great weekend.


27 sunita July 27, 2007 at 7:33 pm

tbc, I’m sure this is your first visit here, so welcome to my world…really nice to have you over…


28 sunita July 27, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Sia,thanks and yes, the little ones are on their summer break…

So you too love this rice…isn’t it such a simple yet flavourful dish…and yes, it does go with almost any curry…have a nice weekend.


29 WokandSpoon July 28, 2007 at 9:07 am

I love chickpeas and always have a can in the kitchen. I’m too lazy to use dried chickpeas ;-)
The photos look lovely and mmmmm – chickpea curry! yum!


30 sunita July 28, 2007 at 1:42 pm

wokandspoon,maybe it’s time to put that can to use…hope you’re having a nice weekend.


31 July 28, 2007 at 11:14 pm

Looks delicious. I like the tomato onion salad too!



32 sunita July 29, 2007 at 8:51 am

Kanchana,thanks…thanks for dropping by :)


33 roland stephens February 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Hi Sunita! I must say it’s just my first time here at your site. I’ve been looking for a new recipe to make my rice recipe more enticing for my kids and wife. I wanted it to be a little more interesting by trying out a new flavor new to the taste buds of my family. I am definitely going to try this one out for our next family day. I wish I can carry out this recipe succesfully. Just by the look of it, seems like very yummy! thanks in advance sunita!


34 Sunita February 25, 2010 at 10:03 pm

You’re most welcome, hope you and your family like it as much as we do :-)


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