Chickpea pilaf.

This is a delicious and flavour full one pot meal that’s tasty, healthy and easy to make.

Chickpeas are rich in nutrients; a great source of protein which is perfect if you don’t want to use meat in the dish. The greens used here (amaranth and spinach) are also great sources of vitamins and protein too.

Colourful and tasty.

I like one pot rice meals such as this as they come together so fast and one can put in what’s available to make a tasty meal.

You will need:-

  • 1 cup of rinsed and drained chickpeas.
  • One large onion, chopped.
  • Two tbsp coconut oil. Or ghee.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds and one bay leaf.
  • One cup soaked basmati rice.
  • Ginger garlic paste. A tbsp will do.
  • 2tsp ground good quality pilau masala.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Greens of choice ( I bunch will do, chopped).
  • Chopped coriander.
  • 2 cups water or stock.


  • Heat your pan and add your coconut oil as well as cumin seeds and bay leaf.
  • Once they start sputtering, add onions, cook until starting to brown then add the ginger garlic paste. Mix well. Before adding the pilau masala.
  • Next go in the coriander stalks and the chickpeas, as well as salt and pepper, followed by the chopped greens. I used a mix of amaranth leaves and spinach I had leftover from a previous meal.
  • Add the rice and mix well. Then in goes your stock. Cover and simmer till all the water is drained and rice is cooked through.

Serve with a salad of your choice.

I had mine with a simple tomato cucumber and onion salad.

Perfect for a light dinner, quick lunch and a hit with the kids.

What’s not to love about this beautiful meal?

Red Cabbage and Peas.

Purple/ red cabbage is a great vegetable to add to your meal plan. It is rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

You can have it raw in a salad. Like we did here. Or sautéed with green peas that’s a lovely side dish for your rice and kids’ lunchboxes.

This lovely vegetable dish has the following ingredients:-

Half a red cabbage, sliced, two grated carrots, one sliced green pepper, 1 chopped onion, 1 cup of green peas, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste. Spices used are 1 tsp each of black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and Kenyan curry powder. Salt and pepper to taste.


Heat your wide based pan and add 2 tbsp of coconut oil. As well as the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once they start sputtering, add the onion and let fry till translucent, before adding the crushed ginger garlic and mix well.
Add the curry powder and mix well, before adding the carrot and green pepper, salt and pepper. Let cook for about 3 minutes. Then add your cabbage. Mix well and let cook for another 3 minutes.
Add the peas and mix in well. Let cook till they are ready which is 5 or less minutes. Then switch off heat.
Squeeze some lemon juice and serve hot.

You can have the dish as it is for a light lunch. Or pair it up with rice or flaky chapati for a healthy vegetarian dinner meal.

It’s also perfect with some carrot rice. 😋

Healthy, tasty, colorful and filling. It will be a hit with you and the kids. Definitely worth a try.

Eggplant Thursday: Borani Banjan

Borani Banjan is a traditional Afghan recipe that has eggplants layered in a tomato sauce and topped with a garlic yoghurt sauce and dried mint. It is so simple to make but the flavours are complex and blend so wonderfully together to make what has become one of my top favorite ways to make eggplant. It is SO good, if you love eggplant as much as I do, you have to make it.

I have shared this dish before here, but felt that it. deserves its own post. Share the goodness right?

I like the recipe from Mazar Cuisine and it is always the one I use when making this dish, though I sometimes roast the eggplant in the oven instead of frying.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 4 purple eggplants, thickly sliced and soaked in salty water to remove bitterness.
  • 4 sliced tomatoes.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of tomato paste.
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon each of paprika, ground coriander, ground turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of ground red chilli.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 4 minced garlic cloves. (I used local garlic that has stronger flavour than imported one).
  • 1 level tbsp of dried mint.
  • I cup natural yoghurt.
  • Cooking oil.
After soaking the eggplant in salted water, rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss with olive oil and roast in a 180°C oven for 20 – 25 minutes.
As the eggplant roasts you can get started on the tomato sauce.
In a heated saucepan, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil, and add half the minced garlic.
Once it releases its aroma, add the ground spices, the turmeric, paprika, chilli and coriander and mix well. Let the spices cook a while before adding the tomato paste and mix well. ( I added a green pepper I had on hand though its not included in the original recipe).
Add your sliced tomatoes and some salt, lower heat and cover. Let it cook till the tomatoes break down completely.
Meanwhile, add the yoghurt to a bowl, the rest of the minced garlic, the dried mint and some salt and pepper.
Mix well and set aside (I put mine in the fridge as it was a hot day, but if its cool you can leave it out on the counter till ready to use).
The tomatoes will have broken down completely into a lovely red rich and thick sauce.
Add the roasted eggplant to the tomato sauce and mix gently. If too dry you can add a splash of water. Cover and simmer for about 8-10 minutes for the eggplant to absorb the flavour and the sauce. Remember to check your seasoning too.
The eggplant really holds its shape well and is full of flavour with a bit of heat but not too much.
To serve, plate the eggplant then add the garlic yoghurt on top. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and a bit of dried mint.
This might just become my favorite eggplant recipe!
I had mine with a simple flatbread made with self raising flour, yoghurt and some herbs.

The best way to have this is with a decent flatbread that is great for scooping up the sauce and balances out the flavours too.

This is a must try dish!

Instant Pot Vegetable Biriani

As I have shared here before; there are many ways of making biriani.It is all about your tastebuds and the time you have to make it. The Instant Pot comes in handy in this, as you do not have to spend hours in the kitchen slaving over this dish. I have shared two biriani recipes here and by now y’all can tell I really love Indian rice dishes 🙂

This dish is so straightforward you can make it for weeknight supper, it is great for a meatless Monday meal as well as a tasty way to load up on those veggies.

You can use the vegetables you have on hand, just chop them into more or less equal sizes so they cook through and evenly.

Ingredients: 2 cups Rice, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, Whole spices (bay leaves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, 1/2 a star anise, cardamon and black peppercorns), ground spices (1/4 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp ground Dhana jeera, 1/2 tsp paprika), Vegetables (a cup each of chopped sweet potato, carrots, green pepper, peas and French beans, Coriander and mint leaves, 2 sliced onions, salt to taste, 1 tbsp of raisins and cashew nuts (optional). 2 tbsp ghee for cooking. You can substitute the sweet potato with Irish potato.

Wash and soak your rice for 20 minutes. Then put instant pot on sauté mode.

Heat a bit of the ghee and roast the cashews till brown, add the raisins and let them puff a little then set aside.
I always struggle not to snack on them, hahaha.
Add your remaining ghee, add the whole spices, mix well then add the onions.

Add the ginger garlic paste and the ground spices.

Mix well to ensure they don’t burn.
Add your vegetables and the coriander and mint (you can reserve some for garnishing).Mix well.
Add a splash of water to ensure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot otherwise the pot will indicate the food is burning.
Add the drained rice and two cups of water.

Do not stir once you add the water. Cover the instant pot, cancel sauté mode and set pressure mode on. Set it to cook for 6 minutes on high pressure. Once done, let it release pressure naturally for about 5 minutes then do a quick pressure release.

Doesn’t it look yummy?

The next step is purely optional but if you want the authentic biri feel, mix a little yellow food colour or saffron if you have in in a tsp of rose water.

Pour over the rice in a kinda cross shape.
Add the remaining mint and coriander leaves and the cashews and raisins after the rose water and cover the pot again, for a few minutes until ready to serve.
Fluff the rice gently before serving.
Serve with a cucumber and tomato raita.

I am enjoying using the Instant pot to make various dishes and was glad with how this turned out. Definitely worth a try!

Tasty and beautiful to look at!