Chickpea and Mushroom Risotto

Showing the chickpea and mushroom risotto cooking, with peas
Serves: 4-5

1 tblsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
200-250g mushrooms, sliced
200-250g rice
1 tblsp turmeric
80-100ml white wine (optional)
600-800ml vegetarian stock
260-300g cooked chickpeas (or one 400g can)
1 tblsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup frozen peas (optional)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then cook the onion slices, stirring occasionally, for eight to ten minutes or until they are just starting to turn brown. Add the garlic and stir in, then add the mushroom slices, and cook for another three or four minutes; by this stage the mushrooms should be nicely caramelised.

Add the rice and turmeric and stir well until the rice is completely coated in oil, then add the wine (if used) or about 100ml water, and simmer, stirring lightly, until the liquid has been absorbed.

Gradually add the stock, about 200ml at a time, stirring over a medium heat until it's absorbed; if the pan starts to overflow, transfer some of the mixture to another pan.  Keep adding the stock gradually and stirring until the rice is tender but not too soft. Use extra water, if necessary.

When the rice is at your preferred consistency, add the drained chickpeas and salt and stir in for a couple of minutes; then add the frozen peas, if used, and the parsley, and stir until the peas are just thawed, then serve immediately.

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I was looking for recipes that use chickpeas, and came across one labelled 'Risotto with caramelized onions, mushrooms and chickpeas' on another recipe blog. It sounded good, though it didn't say how many people it would serve, and I made it pretty much as the recipe stated, other than using my favourite brown basmati rice rather than risotto rice. Perhaps that means that it wasn't, technically, a risotto.  But never mind.

I used less stock than the recipe suggested, which surprised me, as I had assumed that brown rice would absorb more liquid. I also added extra garlic, as I usually do, and turmeric because it's a health food and I use it wherever I can. Rather than mixed herbs, I used parsley.

It was good, and I served it with lightly fried courgettes and home-made ketchup, and it made about four or five portions.

gently frying onions, garlic and mushrooms
Since I freeze chickpeas in can-sized portions, I decided to use a whole portion rather than just a cup, the second time I made this. I also decided to use a large onion and rather more mushrooms than the original recipe listed.

Since I felt it rather lacked colour the first time, I put the frozen peas in as a last-minute addition, and it worked so well that I decided to keep them in.  However, I managed to forget the turmeric, which is why the photos don't look yellow.

The amount I made the first time was about four portions, but with the extra mushrooms, chickpeas and frozen peas, we found that the recipe above is sufficient for five portions; that makes it relatively low-carbohydrate, as we would normally expect about 70-80g rice (1/3 US cup) per person if served with curry.

I always serve separate vegetables with any cooked meal; this is good with courgettes and broad beans, and also with a dash of home-made tomato ketchup

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