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Foody Friday: Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas

Yes, that's quite a mouthful. But tastes great! Earlier this week, I was on the hunt for a recipe that would use the cans of black beans and chickpeas I'd had in the cupboard for ages, and finally decided on this Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas because I had most of the ingredients on hand, and those that I didn't, well, I'd just do without.

Here's a crappy picture of the finished product:

And here's how I prepared the dish:

Recipe called for heating 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then adding 1/2 clove garlic, minced, stirring for a minute.
IRL, I accidentally poured a lot of oil (I use Smart Balance) -- oops! -- into a medium saucepan. Added a LOT of minced garlic from the bottle plus half a red onion, diced. Stirred at medium/high heat for a while, until the onions were translucent.

Recipe called for stirring in 1/2 cup of uncooked basmati rice; 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander; and 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric and cayenne pepper. After 5 mins, add 2 cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil, then cover & simmer for 20 mins.
IRL, I had the uncooked (brown) basmati rice, but threw together a heaping teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder and allspice altogether with the chicken stock. Robbed it of that 5mins of non-stock cooking. Oh well! Brought it all to a boil, then reduced heat and covered. It took a lot longer than 20mins for the rice to be cooked: perhaps as long as 40mins!

Recipe called for placing 3/4lb ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat, and cooking until evenly brown.
IRL, I used a package of MorningStar Farms fake ground beef in a huge pot/saucepan, and flavored liberally with fish sauce as it heated up.

Recipe called for gently mixing the turkey, drained & rinsed garbanzo beans & black beans, (and optional cilantro, parsley, and pine nuts) into the cooked rice.
IRL, I added the beans and a handful of spinach leaves to the cooked fake meat, and made sure to heat them all up well. Then I added the rice to the meat/bean/veg mixture, and stirred well.

Recipe called for seasoning with salt and pepper.
IRL, I almost never do this step, just as a matter of principle. In this case, it really wasn't needed anyway: I think the fish sauce was more than salty enough to make up for any other taste deficiencies there might have been in this dish!

Kosh liked it, but felt something was missing, ".. like a big chunk of meat." If I make this again, I might use ground lamb instead (Kosh's eyes totally lit up at that statement, so I think I'm on the right track LoL!), it would fit with the region's choice of dead animal anyway, right?

WARNING: I was farting up a storm no thanks to the beans, so if you're planning on making this, just be aware, k? :p

Happy Friday, and have a great weekend!


  1. Yum! That sounds like something I would like. I shared this article with my husband to see if he wants to make it :)

  2. from a "leftovers" point-of-view, it reheated well and was "freshened" nicely by some leftover peas (added cold for contrast). i still think it would benefit from either a creamy/thick -sort of sauce, or some moist chunks of meat. whoo-hoo for lamb?!? i added a hard-boiled egg and that helped a bit as well.


  3. Kim: The rice by itself was already heavenly what with all those spices cooked in with it :) It wouldn't be difficult to make this totally vegan for you. Do tell me if you try it :)

    Kosh: yay thanks for the feedback hun :) I was eyeing the ground lamb at Wal-mart today, but I know I won't be remaking this for a little while (we still have one more portion inthe freezer, LoL!), so we'll have to hold off on the tinkering :)


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