Basmati Rice Spiked with Chickpea Flour Dumplings

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Basmati Rice Spiked with Chickpea Flour Dumplings

As has been the case for many years, when I am looking for inspiration I often turn to 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. All of the essentials of Indian cooking are covered in this book and there are some wonderful fusion-stye dishes included too, as Mr. Iyer grew up in India but has lived in the US for over 20 years — you get the best of both worlds. It truly is a masterpiece and well suited for both those who are new to Indian cuisine and experienced cooks alike. The book is not vegetarian, but there are loads of recipes for vegetarians and vegans.

My latest exploration was this rice dish with chickpea flour dumplings. It's perfectly balanced and you only need to serve up a vegetable dish for a simple meal that is nonetheless packed full of flavor. Only half of the dumplings are needed for the rice, but it's worth making the whole batch because they are relatively easy to make and they freeze well. I found they also made for a nice spicy snack, in addition to adding flair and texture to the rice, so the remainder never did make it into the freezer.

chickpea flour dumplings

Basmati Rice Spiked with Chickpea Flour DumplingsBasmati Rice Spiked with Chickpea Flour Dumplings
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on January 29, 2013

Simple fragrant yellow rice cooked with moist and spicy chickpea flour dumplings

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  • 2 cups chickpea flour (besan), sifted
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 to 3 fresh chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Begin by making the dumplings. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, ginger, chilies, coriander, cumin, cayenne, garam masala and salt. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and form it into a ball with your hands. Add more water if necessary. Add 2 teaspoons or more of sesame oil to the dough and knead it until it is smooth.

  • On a lightly floured board, shape the dough into a firm 12-inch log. Cut into 4 pieces.

  • Fill a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a boil. Carefully add the chickpea flour pieces and lower the heat to medium. Simmer uncovered, gently stirring occasionally, until they turn light yellow and little bumps appear — about 45 to 60 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Empty the water from the saucepan and fill with cold water. Return the dumplings to the pan and remove after 5 seconds. Transfer back to the plate.

  • Cut the dumplings into 1/2-inch thick nuggets and set aside.

  • Thoroughly rinse the rice in cold water until the water is no longer cloudy. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with water. Let rest for 30 minutes and then drain. Let the rice air-dry in a strainer for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop, add the drained rice, cumin, cayenne, asafetida, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, undisturbed, until the water has evaporated from the surface — about 6 to 8 minutes.

  • Add the boiling water to the pan and half of the dumplings, stir quickly, and reduce the heat to very low. Cover and cook for another 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for another 10 minutes.

  • Fluff with a fork and serve garnished with cilantro.

  • Refrigerate or freeze the remaining dumplings.

Makes 6 servings

chickpea flour rice

Other fancied up rice creations from Lisa's Kitchen:
Tomato, Olive and Avocado Rice
Yellow Rice with Toasted Cashews
Coconut Rice

On the top of the reading stack: The Fall by Albert Camus

Audio Accompaniment: Marsen Jules


Unknown said...

What a wonderfully unusual idea, a great and healthy way to add depth and flavour! Would love you to add this to fabfusionfood xx

Joanne said...

Those dumplings sound great! Although, you're right, I would probably eat far more out of hand than would make it into the rice!

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Sound nice recipe to me..

Eileen said...

Wow, what an interesting idea! I've never thought to use chickpea flour in a dumpling before. It's definitely going on the must-try list!

Laavanya said...

What an awesome idea for a rice dish.. have not tried something like this - must've been very tasty.