Chickpeas the perfect partner for Rice
Chickpeas really are the perfect partner for Rice:
Chickpeas in a tomato based curry sauce, coming in at only 394 kcal per portion, it’s a great favourite in our house, not merely because it’s tasty but because it’s packed full of goodness that compliments its rice accompaniment. We’re unashamedly veggie in our household and I don’t cook anything different for meat eating friends and so far I’ve had no complaints about this dish.
I’m a huge fan of rice both white and brown but I have to say my favourite is white even though I know its not as good for me. I find brown rice difficult to cook and it never comes out as pretty; the grains aren’t as long, and it ends up looking rather bitty. I also find the nutty flavour can take over the dish so that you can’t enjoy the other flavours on the plate. White rice on the other hand is a great partner to most sauces, with a subtle flavour enhancing rather than overtaking the meal.
I totally accept the fact that brown rice is higher in fibre, vitamins and minerals than white, it also has a lower GI level, and therein lies one of the greatest problems for white rice.
Having established that white rice is pretty much a source of ‘empty’ calories and carbs with few essential nutrients; the higher GI level of white rice increases the likelihood of sugar spikes, followed by the inevitable energy crash a little down the line. How many times have you had a bowl of rice at lunchtime, to then feel as though you’re falling asleep at your desk afterwards? However, I was interested to read that combining rice with chickpeas or other beans can help to counteract this. Beans and Chickpeas are packed with protein and fibre which makes them perfect for pairing alongside starchier foods like rice.
Eating Chickpeas alongside Rice has a positive impact
Adding beans to a rice dish makes it easier for your body to regulate the carbohydrates, thus lessening blood sugar spikes and energy crashes. There’s an interesting paper here for anyone who wants to read further https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28976933
So, with this in mind I took to trying it out for myself and I have to say it really does work, and I’ve taken to throwing a handful of beans into pretty much every meal. One of my favourite ways to get beans into a rice meal is by making a plain and simple Chickpeas Curry … so here it is, and I hope you enjoy!
Chickpea & Spinach Curry
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- I clove Garlic grated
- 1 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
- 1 200 g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 400g Tin or Chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp Madras Curry Powder
- 1/4 tsp Chilli flakes
- 2 Handfuls Fresh Spinach
- Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is soft and starting to caramelise
- Add the curry powder and continue to fry, stirring well as you go.
- Add the tomatoes and chickpeas
- Continue stirring and add 125ml of water, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes
- Add the spinach just before serving