Herb Rice Pilaf with fresh green chickpeas
Whenever I try out a new ingredient, it invariably makes it debut in a rice. Dunno why, I always start it with a basic pilaf with that "new" ingredient added. It helps me to judge the ingredient so that I know how to use it in other interesting ways. Likewise in this case for fresh chickpeas. Until recently, I did not cook with it owing to the non-availability. But this time, upon chancing on some beautiful ones, I started out in my usual manner. Since I wanted the chickpeas to shine through, I chose the simplest of white rice pilafs.
Herb Rice Pilaf with fresh green chickpeas
Subzi Polo, as Wiki will tell you, is a Persian Herb rice. I love using herbs and inevitably buy every single herb that looks "vibrant" and "fresh", each time I go shopping. Unfortunately, then I am in a hurry to use them before they start wilting on me. So this rice is like a savior :). Simple white rice with chopped herbs added to them with almost nada  seasoning. As simple as it can get with just the beauty of fresh herbs. I thought adding fresh chickpeas to this rice would be interesting and it was. Herb Rice Pilaf with fresh green chickpeas The fresh chickpeas held its own without the herbs overpowering it and in fact they complimented the chickpeas.This is an immensely simple recipe and you can use whatever herbs you have on hand. The only advise would be about being careful when it comes to using Dill. It has a strong flavor, hence a little goes a long way. I used a mix of cilantro, scallion, fenugreek, Dill and parsley along with handful of fresh tender chickpeas.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • Yields: Makes 3 cups
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • Abt 2/3 cup of fresh chickpeas, shelled
  • 3 scallion (spring onions), chopped finely - greens and whites separated
  • about 1 cup of mixed herbs, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp of butter for rich taste or 1 tsp of oil
  • salt to taste
You can additionally make it extra special by adding saffron while cooking the rice. Also, you can add any other seasoning you like,  but the traditional recipe uses only herbs and minimal seasoning.
1. While soaking the rice for 30 min or so is recommended, its optional. I do it cos I find that it helps to keep the rice separate which I personally think is quite essential for this dish. Take a skillet and add butter/oil. Saute the scallion whites a quick toss for few seconds and then add the drained rice (if soaked). Stir until aromatic - about 2 minutes.
2. Add 2 cups water ( +/- 1 cup depending on the quality of rice) , salt and the tender chickpeas. Give it a stir.
3. Close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes
4. or until you find that the rice is all cooked. Since my chickpeas were quite fresh I found that it had cooked along with the rice within that time and was tender. You can alternatively steam/boil the chickpeas separately and add it to the rice towards the end.
5. Add the chopped herbs to the rice.
6. Gently fluff up the rice  and toss the herbs with it.
Serve it warm with any spicy side dish of your choice. Herb Rice Pilaf with fresh green chickpeas

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3 Member Reviews

By Mohammad on Jan 19, 2014

By A.Anu on Dec 22, 2011

Hi Thanq for this wonderful recipe just made it with a slight  difference. I added a couple of slit green chillies( not very spicy, just mild).

Hmmmmmmmmm Yummy it is . For person who doesn't like very spicy food , this was fantastic .Mild aroma, taste of all the herbs,it's delicious. Thank you very much . I reccomend this to every reader .

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By nyginko on Jul 5, 2011

DK Thanks for the excellent cooking notes/tips! re: No. 4 [DK writes: "...or until you find that the rice is all cooked. Since my chickpeas were quite fresh I found that it had cooked along with the rice within that time and was tender. You can alternatively steam/boil the chickpeas separately and add it to the rice towards the end." ] Ah! I did find the fresh green chickpeas-in-their-pods at the market yesterday (on The Fourth - though I mistakenly wrote "the day before." The quiet here continues and it still feels like The Fourth :-)) By the time the fresh peas reached the northeast market, they'd been off the vine and in their pods for a long time. They looked a wee bit tired, but fresh enough to give them a try. So I have. Since there also were bunches of fresh cilantro and fresh avocados, I decided to give your Fresh Green Chickpea Guacamole a try now ...

By nyginko on Jun 5, 2011

I am beginning to remember seeing green chickpeas at the markets last year, though they were costly like fresh peas. Now I am guessing that soon they'll be in the veggie sections. Why? Because my own peas that were planted awhile ago (started indoors, then replanted to a larger pot and set out on the balcony) have just begun to flower. So perhaps the pea season, locally in the northeast, will take a little more time?

By Sonia on Jun 5, 2011

I did not find it WF :-| Need to check the Indian stores/Costco

By kiran singh on May 27, 2011

lovely :-P

By nyginko on May 26, 2011


By nyginko on May 26, 2011

DK, the plantings have brought a spring pleasure: to be drawn out-of-doors in the early morning air and light! This evening, under the inspiration of your “Subzi Polo with fresh Chickpeas,” I made my first cuttings from the flourish of fenugreek plants that have come up in the clay pots on the balcony since early spring.

By Radhika Vasanth on May 26, 2011

Looks appetizing DK. I have seen this so many times in the grocery store, but never knew it was fresh chickpeas.

By nyginko on May 26, 2011

I'll look for fresh green chickpeas next time I go to WFs (perhaps in the freezer section where I have found packaged coconut and lotus root(SWAD.) re: (DK) " I used a mix of c i l a n t r o, s c a l l i on, f e n u g r e e k , Dill, and p a r s l e y along with handful of f r e s h tender chickpeas." Thank you, DK for another wonder! And I have rice, cilantro,scallion, parsley, and fenugreek is coming up in my balcony clay pots! I'm sure to find some dill on my way today. I'll have to use my soaked and sprouted chickpeas this time, until I come across the fresh green ones. I could also add some plain green peas which I do have.

Dear Chana, even if you dont find the fresh ones, I have seen the frozen green chickpeas in the Indian store (and few say that they have seen some in Costco store. That might help. I am so jealous to know that you are going to use almost all the herbs from your garden! I have to restart my kitchen garden once again :) Hugs

By Nishi on May 26, 2011

What a great idea to use fresh Chick peas. Loved the recipe. I am sure to try this :)

By lemons & rinds on May 26, 2011

Wow..love the vibrant fresh colours. A must try recipe, though I do make a similar version with peas and carrots minus the herbs.

By Angel of the North on May 26, 2011

Where on earth would you get fresh chickpeas? Looks fascinating.

I happened to get mine from a local Indian grocery store ..fresh ones that I had to shell. I had never seen these before in my life, so you can imagine my enthusiasm :) If not available, see if frozen green chickpeas are available. Pls refer to reply for this comment http://chefinyou.com/2011/05/subzi-polo-with-fresh-chickpeas/#comment-72037

By Priya on May 26, 2011

Fantastic rice, love those fresh green chickpeas..

By raquel.erecipe on May 25, 2011

this is one interesting menu, how about adding some vegetable like carrots and moringa leaves. Is that okay?

Of course you can use anything you like. Only that the more you add, more it will deviate from the traditional recipe for Subz Polo....as long as thats not important, who cares ;)

By sunita on May 25, 2011

hi dk you have changed your layout good and very interesting and your pictures are also medium size but those big size pictures were more mouth-watering. :wink: The layout is superb good job done :lol:

By Raghu on May 25, 2011

I guess... Some Dill strings, Mint leaves, Parsley/Coriander, Should do... :)....

By N Balaji on May 25, 2011

hi , what herbs have been used ??

Have mentioned it in the post - just above the Basic information section

By Vardhini on May 25, 2011

Looks yummy. Plain and simple. :) Vardhini VardhinisKitchen

By Sonia on May 25, 2011

Which herbs did you use ? Awesome this looks !!!

By Cool Lassi(e) on May 25, 2011

:-D Awesome!