Spicy Vegetarian Pilaf w/ Cajun Chickpeas

This spicy pilaf combines some of my most favourite ingredients into a wonderfully tasty dish. Chilli, rice, chickpeas and orange served up warm and spicy with toasted almonds. I used a store brought Cajun spice mix (cheating I know) but you can mix up your own with whole spices like black pepper, cayenne, onion powder, paprika, chilli, thyme, basil and cloves. The result was still very tasty and flavourful even with the store brought mix. I have also used tined chickpeas so overall this is a very quick and nutritious vegan meal; great for after a busy day.

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Spicy Vegetarian Pilaf w/ Cajun Chickpeas
Preparation time: 25mins // Serves 4

  • 300g (10 oz) of chickpeas (approx. 2 tins), washed and drained
  • 3 tsp Cajun spice mix
  • 1tsp powdered vegetable stock (optional)
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 red chilli, diced
  • 2 cups of long grain rice
  • 3 juicy oranges
  • 3½ cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup sultanas (raisins)
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas
  • ¼ cup of slivered almonds

In a small bowl mix the chickpeas with a little vegetable oil, the Cajun seasoning and vegetable stock powder (if using). Fry the chickpeas in a small fry pan for 3-4 minutes until fragrant; remove from heat and set aside.

Grate the rind from two oranges, and juice all three.

Add a little vegetable oil to a large fry pan or pot; cook the onion, garlic and chilli over a medium heat until soft. Add the rice and orange rind, stir to combine all ingredients.

Add the stock and orange juice and bring to the boil. Turn down to low heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until stock has absorbed.

Meanwhile toast the slivered almonds under a medium grill for 2 minutes until golden and toasted. Watch them very carefully because they will burn in no time!!

Add the Cajun chickpeas, sultanas, peas and almonds and toss through rice until well combined.

Served straight away sprinkled with paprika and/or topped with a little natural yoghurt.

{ This recipe was inspired by Super Food Ideas Cajun Chicken Pilaf }

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