Spiced Chickpea & Brown Basmati Rice Bowl

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One day, while browsing through a cookbook at a friend’s house, I stumbled upon a simple yet incredibly flavorful recipe that has since become a staple in my kitchen: the Spiced Chickpea & Brown Basmati Rice Bowl. This vegetarian delight has not only won over the hearts of my friends and family but has also become my go-to meal when I’m craving something healthy, satisfying, and downright delicious.

The rich blend of spices in this dish, such as garam masala, coriander, and turmeric, makes it reminiscent of Indian cuisine. While it may not have a specific tradition or holiday attached to it, this versatile meal is perfect for any celebration or gathering. Its warm, inviting flavors are sure to impress your guests.

In my experience, the key to mastering this recipe is to pay close attention to the spices. The first time I made it, I was a bit too generous with the cayenne pepper, and the dish turned out spicier than I had intended. To avoid this, start with a smaller amount of cayenne and adjust to taste as needed.

Can I use white basmati rice instead of brown? 

Absolutely! White basmati rice can be used as a substitute, but keep in mind that brown basmati rice has a nuttier flavor and a slightly higher nutritional value.

What if I can’t find garam masala at my local grocery store? 

You can make your own blend by combining equal parts ground cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.

Is this dish vegan? 

Yes, as long as you use coconut oil instead of extra-virgin olive oil, this dish is completely vegan.

I can’t recommend the Spiced Chickpea & Brown Basmati Rice Bowl enough. It’s not only healthy and satisfying, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. The combination of warm spices, hearty chickpeas, and nutty brown basmati rice creates a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more.

To ensure success when making this recipe, follow these simple tips:

  1. Adjust the spice level by using more or less serrano or jalapeño pepper.
  2. Don’t skip the garnishes. Lemon wedges and fresh cilantro add a burst of freshness to the dish.
  3. Be patient. Allow the chickpeas to simmer for at least 20 minutes to fully absorb the flavors.

In conclusion, the Spiced Chickpea & Brown Basmati Rice Bowl is a fantastic vegetarian meal that is sure to become a favorite in your household. It pairs well with a simple green salad or warm naan bread and is perfect for weeknight dinners or meal prepping. Give this flavorful and satisfying dish a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Spiced Chickpea & Brown Basmati Rice Bowl

Course: Main CourseCuisine: Indian Fusion


Prep time


Cooking time





A flavor-packed, healthy, and satisfying spiced chickpea and brown basmati rice bowl that’s perfect for a delicious vegetarian dinner.


  • 1 cup uncooked brown basmati rice, for serving (rice is optional, I like to cook extra to have on hand for other meals)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 medium serrano or jalapeño pepper*, minced (remove ribs and seeds to tame the spice level)

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste

  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala**

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional!)

  • 1 large can (28 ounces) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices

  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) chickpeas (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas), rinsed and drained

  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  • In a medium saucepan, cook the brown basmati rice according to package instructions. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat the coconut oil or olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced serrano or jalapeño pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the garam masala, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir well to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Pour in the can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, along with their juices. Stir to combine, then bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Once the mixture is simmering, add the chickpeas. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste the chickpea mixture and adjust seasoning with salt as needed.
  • To serve, spoon cooked brown basmati rice into bowls, and top with the spiced chickpea mixture. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh cilantro, if desired.


  • *You can adjust the spice level by using more or less of the serrano or jalapeño pepper.
  • **Garam masala is a spice blend that can be found in most grocery stores or online.

This Spiced Chickpea & Brown Basmati Rice Bowl is a versatile and delicious vegetarian dish that pairs well with a simple green salad or some warm naan bread. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or meal prepping, as it can be easily scaled up and stored in the fridge for up to four days.

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Hey there! I'm Jamie Anderson. Born and raised in the heart of New York City, I've always had this crazy love for food and the stories behind it. I like to share everything from those "Aha!" cooking moments to deeper dives into what's really happening in the food world. Whether you're here for a trip down culinary memory lane, some kitchen hacks, or just curious about your favorite eateries, I hope you find something delightful!

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