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Make Sumayya Usmani's Attock Chana Rijai

This recipe for Attock Chana Rijai is by Sumayya Usmani of Kaleyard Cook School and Kitchen. You can read more about her enterprise in this feature.


  • 250g brown basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 2 large red onions, cut into half moons
  • 1 tsp each of crushed garlic and grated ginger
  • 400g chickpeas or 300g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 25 ml water


Wash the rice, rinse and soak in a bowl of water for 1 hour, then drain.

Heat the ghee in a saucepan with a lid over a medium heat until melted. Add the cumin, star anise, peppercorns and black cardamom and fry for about 30 seconds until the ghee is fragrant, or until the cumin begins to pop.

Add the onions, garlic and ginger and fry, stirring over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes until the onions are soft and light brown. Add the drained chickpeas, salt and green chilli and fry for a further 30 seconds.

Add the drained rice, stir and mix for about 1 minute, then pour in 250ml water, or enough water to cover the rice. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with the lid and cook for about 4–5 minutes in order to par-cook the rice.

Once par-cooked the water should be almost absorbed. If it’s totally absorbed add 2 tbsp water, stir gently. Cover the pan with foil firmly around the edges, cover tightly with the lid, reduce the heat to as low, and let it cook in its own steam for about 10–12 minutes until the rice is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed.

Serve with Greek yogurt or raita.

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