Kala Chana Pilau.

I am a big fan of pilau as there are so many ways you can mix it up and always end up with a tasty and filling dish. It provides one with so many ways to spice up one pot rice, works well for weekday dinner and leftovers are perfect for the kids’ school lunch boxes.

In this specific pilau I used some brown chickpeas also known as ‘kala Chana’ , some cashew nuts and a little chicken too and the result was an aromatic and palate pleasing dish.

Let’s get started.

Our ingredients are a cup of basmati rice, two sliced onions, half a cup of already boiled brown chickpeas, a tbsp of ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp of ground pilau masala, salt to taste, 1 tbsp butter, and some whole pilau masala spices (1 bay leaf, a small stick of cinnamon, a few black peppercorns, cloves and cardamoms and a tsp of cumin seeds). I also added in about 300 g of chicken breast and a few raw cashew nuts.
Heat your sauce pan and add the butter and a small drop of oil so the butter doesn’t burn. Add the whole spices and let them release their aroma for a few seconds.
Add the sliced onions and let them cook till caramelized.

Add the ginger garlic paste and mix well. Then add the pilau masala and mix well. Then add a few raw cashews. Mix and ensure the spices do not burn.

Add your chicken if using. let cook till browned and coated well with the spicy mixture.
Add in the kala chana. Mix and let it also get coated and absorb the masala mix. Do not forget your salt and pepper. The aroma at this time is amazing!
Add your rice, then 2 cups of water. Cover and let simmer till the water is absorbed and the rice is ready.
The rice is now ready to serve. You can have it with some raita on the side, a curry accompaniment or a simple green salad.

It is a very tasty and filling meal. The chickpeas provide nutrients, colour and an earthy flavour that is complemented well by the pilau spices, the tender chicken and the sweetness of the cashew nuts and caramelized onions.

We had it with a simple vegetable salad and some jeera potatoes. Filling, tasty, easy to make and colourful; all my favorites for a meal I love.

Give it a try and let me know what you think of this dish.

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