Pesto Rice

Meal planning is very important for a balanced diet. A simple prep over the weekend can make you a delicious meal even on busy work from home days. This is something I started to cook recently and my family loves it. Pesto is very earthy and flavourful while the chickpeas are a great source of protein. Besides, you could add any choice of veggies to the rice and you’ll have a yummy restaurant-like dish ready.


  • 1 Cup Chick-Peas (boiled)
  • 6 Cups Rice (pre-cooked)
  • 1/2 Cup Capsicum (long-chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Onion (long-chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup French Beans (finely chopped)
  • 1 Cup Mushroom (chopped)
  • 4 Tbsp Pesto Paste
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper 
  • 1 Tsp Oregano 
  • 1/2 Tsp Chilli-Ginger Paste
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1/2 Cup Oil 
  • Fried Garlic/Birista/Cheese (for garnishing – I would prefer the first two)


Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes

  1. For pre-prep, soak chickpeas overnight and boil them softly in a pressure cooker with some salt and keep aside. Cook the rice in excess water and drain. Let the rice cool in a flat, broad sieve. Make the pesto in advance over the weekend.
  2. Take 2 tbsp of the pesto and mix it in 1 cup of lukewarm milk. Let the flavours infuse while you prep the other stuff.
  3. Finely julienne chop the veggies.
  4. In a wok or a deep pan, heat some and fry the onions on low flame. Sprinkle some salt.
  5. After a minute, add the french beans and carrots. Let them cook with the onions till they are crunchy soft.
  6. Once the french beans are cooked, add the chilli-ginger paste, capsicum and mushrooms. Sauté continuously on a high flame for a minute (you do not want to really soften the capsicum but just enough till the mushrooms to start sweating).
  7. Now lower the flame and add 2 tbsps of the pesto, some pepper, oregano, salt and the chickpeas. Give it a nice mix. 
  8. Next, add the rice and drizzle the milk evenly on it. Toss the rice well.