Pilaf with chickpeas and fresh herbs

In the past few weeks we tested a pressure cooker extensively and created this recipe for it. Admittedly, when thinking about a pressure cooker scalded fingers by the steam and overcooked, grey canteen meals were the first things come to our mind. Quite the contrary! With this gentle and energy saving pressure cooking the nutrients survive and the food’s natural taste of its own show to advantage. The handling is super easy and save, which is why we were really excited from the beginning. Especially if you cook, like us, a lot wholemeal rice, dried beans and chickpeas, or cook your own vegetable stock on a regular basis this pressure cooker comes in handy for saving time and energy. Without the pressure, you can steam vegetables marvelously, and we prepared our fluffiest and moist couscous. But that’s a different story...

The day before, soak the chickpeas in plenty of water. Best would be 24 hours. Before using, wash them once again and let them drain well. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in the pressure cooker. Press the cardamom pods, roughly chop the dried paprika and together with a bit of mace and the wholemeal rice add it to the oil. Steam the rice until it turns translucent. Add the chickpeas and deglaze with the vegetable stock. Depending on the stock's saltiness you may want to add more salt. Close the pressure cooker and heat on highest level (with our model it is level 2) until the air is leaked and the cover valve closed. Lower the stove temperature and cook the meal for 17 minutes. Afterwards, take the pot from the stove and let the dish rest for another 15 minutes (don’t let the steam evaporate). Now you can lift the cover again. Meanwhile, slice the shallots and coat in rice flour. In a small pan heat plant oil as wide as a finger until you see bubbles rise from a wooden pick. Fry the shallot slices until golden yellow and let them drain on a paper towel. Mellow the ready pilaf and remove the cardamom and mace. Season with grated zest, sea salt and cayenne. Serve the pilaf with the chopped fresh herbs, yoghurt and a bit of olive oil.
Of course, you can prepare this dish without a pressure cooker. You need to cook the chickpeas and wholemeal rice for about 35 minutes (also check the instructions on the wrapping).

FoR 2 Servings

150 g cooked chickpeas

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

150 g brown basmati rice

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 pods of green cardamom


1 tsp dried sweet red peppers

450 ml vegetable stock

2 shallots

1 tsp rice flour

vegetable oil for deep-frying

zest of 1/2 organic lemon

1 tsp cayenne


150 g sheep’s milk yogurt

5 stems parsley

2 stems mint

3 stems oregano