It’s hard to believe sometimes how delicious a meal actually can be when it is so simple to cook. Below you will find my favourite chickpeas and rice recipe which only takes 10 minutes to prepare and has a cook time of a little more than 1 hour.
CHICKPEAS AND RICE – A STAPLE OF TURKEY
Chickpeas and Rice is a true staple of Turkey and extremely tasty. It is one of the most common meals to be served in Turkish homes and in little ‘lokantas’ specialising in ‘Sulu Yemeğı‘ which is food cooked with water and served hot. Opposed to ‘Zeytinyagli‘ where the food cooked in olive oil will be served cold.
It is absolutely delicious and this Chickpea and Rice recipe is packed with protein and lots of other nutrients.
My daughters favourite
The chickpea and rice recipe were my daughters’ all-time favourite meals as they grew up here in Turkey.
I remember so well when my daughters and I flew back from Australia, returning to Turkey after our Christmas break. We had been fed relentlessly on the plane (in the good old days when they didn’t want you to get bored and fed you several times on each leg of the journey) and I felt like we were waddling out two sizes larger.
We landed in Istanbul and made our way to the bus terminal to begin our 14-hour journey home. This was before our local coastal airport had opened up and there was no other way home.
At the bus stop, just one hour after leaving the plane, the girls had a whiff of chickpeas and rice emanating from a little roadside ‘lokanta’. They begged me for a bowl of goodness before we boarded the bus for our long trip home. How could I refuse?
I was so grateful my girls had the chance to naturally learn and enjoy good nutrition. It is ever abundant in Turkey.
CHICKPEAS AND RICE RECIPE
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 3 peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 2 big onions roughly chopped
- 100g beef or lamb mince or finely chopped, optional
- 2 cups cooked / tinned chickpeas
- 1 heaped tsp pul biber (chilli flakes)
- 2 stock cubes, beef preferably but can use chicken or substitute with 1 rounded tsp salt
- 1 or 2 whole hot peppers, if desired
- Fry the ground meat for 2 minutes then add the tomatoes and onions and continue cooking till mushy.
- Add the cooked chickpeas, the hot pepper, chill flakes and stock cubes and cover with water.
- Either cook in a pan for 40 minutes or cook under pressure for 15 minutes then let the pressure die down slowly.
HOW TO COOK TURKISH RICE
- 3 cups Turkish rice ( I use Baldo or Osmancik types)
- ¼ cup orzo or şehriye (pasta grains or angel strands)
- 4 cups water
- 1 heaped tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Put rice in a pot and cover with boiling water
- Leave for one hour to soak with lid on
- Drain and rinse thoroughly, massaging the starch out of the rice
- Heat oil in medium sized saucepan and when hot add the şehriye
- Fry until it takes on a golden colour
- Add the drained rice and continue frying for 2 minutes continually stirring
- Add 4 cups water and salt
- Stir, place on the lid and let it come to a boil
- Once boiling turn it down to a simmer, leaving it gently bubbling for 10 minutes
- Turn off the heat without taking off the lid at all and let it rest another 15 minutes
- Remove lid and fluff up the rice with a fork.