Chickpeas-Paneer Veggie Rice – Fast and Healthy One-Pot Dinner

It’s summertime in my city, Hyderabad in India. I know in other places around the world (read the US and Europe), people rejoice and hit the beaches during summers. Not so in my city. Soaring temperatures, the relentless heat and untimely humidity  make us retreat indoors  and just stay there till the sun is close to setting. Even indoors, if you aren’t living in those 24-hour power-back up housing societies, you’ve had it with power cuts! If the heat doesn’t kill you, the power cuts will. Whoever made load-shedding a norm during summer clearly was seeking some sort of revenge and is extremely cruel. The searing heat has been single-handedly responsible for draining me and leaving me tired and uninspired (with absolutely no will to do anything I usually enjoy). I’ve been getting by with doing just the bare minimum for survival.  In this weather report lies the clue to why I have been away for so long. I know it sounds lame but it IS really be the reason for me disappearing for so long.

The beginning of a week, a month especially a year provides us that chance to change habits and start afresh. So this morning, despite a night of disturbed sleep 9 (for no particular reason), I woke up at 5.45 am, which for a late-riser, like me, is fairly unearthly. I went for walk/slight jog and exercised for an hour. Since I am up to a good start, I’ve also decided to decided to break out of my no- blogging spell. I am happy to be back and I hope you are happy to have me back too :)). I’ve missed this!

When you don’t want to slave in the kitchen and also want to make sure you include all the important food groups in your meal, this Chickpea-Veggie Rice I make at least once a week is a protein-packed meal that includes a whole load of veggies making it an almost complete meal. Add an accompaniment of curd/ Raita and your meal is done in around 30 minutes (1-hour tops if you include pressure-cooking chickpeas) and it is really tasty. Try it if you don’t believe me, try it especially if you do 🙂


Chickpea-Cottage Cheese-Veggie Rice

What You Will Need

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Chickpeas – ½ cup (Pressure-cooked till soft)
  • Cauliflower – 1 small head (cut into florets and soaked in boiling water to soften them)
  • Red Bell Pepper – 1
  • Yellow Bell Pepper – 1
  • Onion- 1 medium
  • Garlic – 4-6 cloves
  • Slit Green Chillies – 4 (you can vary this based on the heat-level you can handle)
  • Cottage Cheese – 100 grams (mostly cubed and just a few tablespoons grated
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin Powder – 1.5 teaspoons
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil- 2-3 teaspoons


How You Make It

  1. Cook rice
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop your onions into half-moons, the bell-peppers into long pieces.
  3. Soak the cauliflower in boiled water to soften them a little (for just enough time for them to retain the crunch, about 10 minutes)
  4. Heat oil in a pan (large enough to hold everything).
  5. Add cumin seeds and crushed garlic
  6. Add the onions and let them brown a little.
  7. Add the Green Chillies, cauliflower florets and drained Chickpeas
  8. Stir and Cook for 5 minutes
  9. Add Bell Peppers and cubed cottage cheese
  10. Add cumin powder and chilli flakes (if adding)
  11. Add the rice, salt to taste and garam masala and mix well
  12. Turn off the heat after 2 minutes, sprinkle with grated cottage cheese and serve.



2 thoughts on “Chickpeas-Paneer Veggie Rice – Fast and Healthy One-Pot Dinner

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