Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas

Things are pretty busy around our house. Between working from home, working on personal projects, getting our new home ready and making some upgrades to our current house, there’s a lot to do. Even with all of this, I refuse to go for takeout when I can make something healthy and, quite frankly, better that that. Think about it. The food probably is good when you pick it up. But, by the time it makes it home, it is lukewarm and a mess. Plus, going to a restaurant is stupid given the pandemic. And yes, you heard me right. I don’t mince words on that. Consider opening of restaurants is not necessarily a public health thing, but a political one. As a public health person, going to a restaurant right now is too big of a risk, even if restrictions have been lifted. Not enough people have been vaccinated to make that possible. I’ll step off my soapbox now and get on with the recipe.

This week’s recipe is one that is flexible. Great ingredients as a base and many ways to add. You can also follow the original recipe if you want to make it with canned beans and ground turkey. However, if you have an instant pot, this recipe works great with dried beans too. I am using a recipe from Julep on All Recipes for Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas. I am going to swap out the meat and canned beans for items that work in an instant pot. The recipe is close to a biriyani, and there are many types of those. Biriyani is a basmati rice based dish with vegetables and meat. A true one pot meal. Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I replace the ground turkey with bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed to make a flavorful broth.
  • I replaced the chicken stock with water because I am using bone-in chicken.
  • I added carrot and red bell pepper to increase the vitamins A and C.
  • I increased the servings from 8 to 10 to lower the calories.

Here are the final stats

Here is the final recipe:

Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas

10 Servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 ½ pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup dry black beans
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro (Optional)
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh parsley (Optional)
  1. Place the beans in a pot and cover with water.  Soak 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Turn your instant pot on in sauté mode.  Add the olive oil and heat to shimmering.  Add in the carrots and red bell pepper and sauté until soft.
  3. Add in beans, spices, and chicken thighs.  Close and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.  Allow for a natural pressure release.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs.  Remove the bones and chop.  
  5. Fluff the rice and add back in the chicken.  Mix thoroughly.
  6. Serve with chopped parsley and cilantro.

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