Parsley and rice might sound like an unusual combination, but actually it isn’t.
I was introduced to the combination of parsley and rice almost by accident. I can thank my roommates for it. Indian cooking uses cilantro a lot. Our neighborhood Walmart store did stock coriander or cilantro. But all greens and herbs are always stacked side by side. Being new to cooking, parsley and cilantro seemed almost the same. So this one time, my roomie came home with a bunch of parsley and added it to the Vangi Bhat (eggplant and curry rice) she was making. The flavors were a bit pungent. They were certainly different and interesting. So much so that we often brought home parsley and used it in Indian dishes.
The Green Tokri Gods made some flat leaf parsley available and I was really happy to bring a bunch home. There was a lot of cooked Chana I had used for a salad, and I needed a quick meal before heading over to Lakeland. So this parsley and chana rice came together in a jiffy.
The flavors in this parsley and chana rice are simple. Spinach adds some robustness, tomatoes give it a tang, and parsley adds some sharp herby freshness. EVOO and butter with simple salt, pepper and paprika are enough for seasoning.
The chana used here is what is called ‘ghoda chana’ in Hindi. It belongs to the garbanzo or chickpea family but is more chewy even after being cooked. Chickpeas can be easily substituted here, or even kidney, pinto or black beans. I am not too sure of using white beans because they don’t hold together that well after being cooked.
The parsley and chana rice is a good way to introduce someone to parsley. Due to the chana, this is quite a hearty meal. Check out the recipe –
Parsley and chana rice is hearty and flavor packed and great as a quick one pot meal or as a side dish. The dish has Mediterranean or Continental flavors.
- 1.5 cups basmati rice
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- 1 small onion
- 4 Roma tomatoes
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup cooked black chana or black chickpea
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp EVOO
- 1 Tbsp butter
- Soak Chana overnight and pressure cook.
- Chop the onion, tomatoes, spinach and parsley and set aside.
- Wash and drain the basmati rice.
- Heat oil and butter in a stock pan.
- Add onions first, then tomatoes, then spinach and parsley. Stir around till it softens a bit.
- Add the pepper and paprika and salt.
- Now add the chana and mix it in,
- Add Basmati rice and fry till some of the liquid is absorbed.
- Now add 3-4 cups of water and pressure cook or bring to a boil. If not using a cooker, simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Start with 3 cups of water, and add more if needed, a little at a time.
- Serve hot as a one pot meal or a side dish.
Use chickpeas or black beans instead of chana for a change.
Try out this nutrition packed quick and easy recipe for your next meal, and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it.