This recipe was given to me by a good friend that has taught me an incredible amount about the wonders of Indian food. Although this is not per se an Indian recipe, it is a great use of Indian flavours, and a fantastic example that something like the spice blend chana masala, can be used for much more than just making the chickpea curry also called chana masala.
I know that chana masala may seem like a bit of speciality ingredient to some, but it is easy available from any Indian grocery store (I buy the MDH brand), and definitely has more than one use. If you break down the properties of this spice mix, its defining qualities are its sour and spiciness. So its similar to finishing a dish with a squeeze of lemon and a smattering of chilli flakes, except in a different form. When viewed in this manner, I hope you see that this is not just a spice blend to be used once and then left forever after in the back corner of a cupboard.
The concept behind this dish is bulking up some rice with veggie goodness, adding in some salty/creamy cheese and finishing it off with a spicy punch (and of course lots of coriander). So this is a great template to play around with, depending on what you have in the fridge, and works with either fresh or leftover rice.
I hope you give this easy and tasty recipe a go!
Ramya’s Chana Masala Rice
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 zucchini
- 50 g feta cheese
- 1 tsp chana masala
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Chana masala to sprinkle
- Coriander chopped, to garnish
- Place the basmati rice in a small pot with 3/4 cup cold water and place on the stove, cover with a lid and turn up to maximum heat, as soon as it starts to bubble, turn it down to minimum and simmer for about 10 minutes (or until you cannot see any bubbles coming up through the rice). Turn off and leave on the stove for about 5 minutes before removing the lid.
- While the rice is cooking dice up the onion and and garlic. Heat up a fry pan on medium heat and add the vegetable. Throw in the onion and garlic and gently saute until soft (about 3 minutes), if it starts to brown at all turn down the heat.
- Slice the zucchini length ways into quarters and then cut up into 1cm thick chunks. Once the onion mix is soft add the zucchini to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes until the zucchini is cooked through (or to your liking).
- Add the rice to the pan as well and stir gently to combine.
- Crumbly the feta cheese over the rice, and sprinkle over the channa masala. Stir to combine and then turn off the heat.
- Serve up on a plate with extra chana masala and coriander sprinkled over the top if you like. Dig in!