Qubooli / Kabooli

Serves 4-6

2 cups basmati rice
3/4 cup chana daal, washed and soaked for 2 hours
1 can chickpeas, drained and washed
1-2 onions, sliced
1.5 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala powder
2-3 tbsp yogurt, whipped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chili powder
1-2 green chillies, slit down the middle
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
2-inch piece of a cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3-4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Cook the chana daal in water (it should reach 1 inch above the level of the daal in whichever saucepan you use) till tender but not mushy. Drain any excess water and set aside.

2. Heat the oil with the cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon stick in a large pot.

3. After a minute, add in the onions and green chillies - saute till onions are golden. Mix in the ginger-garlic paste and saute for another minute.

4. Lower the flame and add the rice, cooked chana daal, chickpeas, salt, chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala. Mix gently.

5. Stir in the yogurt and saute for another 2 minutes.

6. When all the ingredients start to gel together, you can add water to 1 inch above the rice mixture, then: a) transfer this mixture to your rice cooker and turn it on or b) cook on the stove itself, with a tight lid on the saucepan, for approximately 20 minutes till water completely evaporates and rice is done. Garnish with cilantro and serve with spicy tomato chutney (recipe below) and yogurt raita.