One of the fascinating things about brown rice is that when it is pressure cooked with any bean, the bean cooks in the same amount of time as the rice. In macrobiotics, brown rice cooked with a little sea salt is considered to be one of the most balanced foods for the body. It may be this ability to create balance that helps other foods align with it energetically.
Brown rice by itself can get boring quickly, especially if it is not cooked well. So, I frequently add other grains, beans and sometimes nuts to add variety. I don’t always pressure cook my rice, either, but if you cook it with any other legume besides lentils, it needs to be pressure cooked. This ensures that the beans get cooked in the right amount of time.
Feel free to substitute any bean for the chickpeas. The chickpeas are nice because they are a more yin bean and add a lightness to the rice that some other beans don’t. Brown Rice with Aduki Beans is an example of a more yang application of this same rice and bean technique.
For this recipe I used a really nice chickpea that is being grown in Eastern Washington. I have found more locally grown legumes and grains in the past few years, mostly from Washington and Oregon. Ask local farmers or look in your local natural foods stores. You might find some locally grown varieties near you.
Pressure Cooked Chickpea Rice
1 1/4 cups brown rice
1/4 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), sort through to pick out any rocks
2″ piece kombu
1. Measure the brown rice into a medium size bowl. Rinse with water several times until the water runs clean. Add 2 1/4 cups water and let soak overnight or for at least eight hours. Place the chickpeas in a small bowl, rinse and cover with water a few inches above the beans. Let soak overnight.
2. When the rice is done soaking, strain the water, measure it, and then discard it. Replace this amount of strained water with fresh.
3. Put the rice, beans and water into your pressure cooker. Add the kombu. Bring the rice to a light boil on medium heat. Cover and bring to pressure. As soon as your pressure cooker is at the right pressure, reduce the heat to the lowest you can while maintaining the pressure. Use a flame tamer if necessary to keep the heat under the pot even and prevent the rice from getting brown on the bottom. Cook for 50 minutes.
5. When the rice has cooked for 50 minutes, remove from burner. Let the pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid and gently scoop the rice into a dish, gently fluffing it as you transfer it.
You can pressure cook many varieties of beans with the rice. Some of my favorites are black soybeans, garbanzo beans and black beans. Split peas and lentils also work.
Chickpea rice is delicious served with nori condiment. Recipe coming soon.