Spinach and chickpea rice... a great Indian vegetarian meal...

You can't talk about Indian cuisine without mentioning vegetarian dishes. In fact more Indian people are vegetarians than meat eaters. Chickpea is one of the staples of all vegetarians - not only Indian ones. I choose this recipe because in our home we love spinach! This dish is perfectly balanced in regards to spices and is very filling. Just one tip - prepare all your ingredients first, have them all ready at hand, as once you start cooking everything goes pretty fast ;) After eating this dish my Hubby concluded that after meals like this one he'll be happy to be a vegetarian - especially that the quality of meat sold in shops these days is rapidly getting worse...
This great recipe comes from Good Food Channel website and it's author is no one else but Anjum Anand - my official Indian food guru! :)

How to make it...

- 200 g baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ghee or melted butter
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1-3 greenchillies, according to taste, pricked with a fork
- 1 heaped teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ tablespoon ground  cumin
- 200 g canned chickpeas, (drained weight)
- 300 g cooked basmati rice
- 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice
- raita, to serve (optional)

Tip the spinach into a large saucepan with 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook over a medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Drain through a sieve, squeeze out any excess water, then tip into a food processor and blend to a smooth purée.
Heat the oil and ghee in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorns and cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds or until the cumin is aromatic.
Stir in the onion and chillies and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until turning golden brown at the edges, then stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for a further minute.
Add the ground coriander, garam masala and ground cumin and season with a pinch of salt. Stir in a splash of water and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chickpeas and spinach, stir well to incorporate then cook for 1-2 minutes, until any excess moisture has evaporated. Stir in the rice and heat through.
Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with raita, if using.