Nasi Goreng with Black Rice & Chickpeas

Nasi Goreng with Black Rice & Chickpeas

An interesting twist to the classic stir-fried rice dish that makes it heartier and healthier! The result is a fragrant Nasi Goreng that will remind you of the shacks by the emerald-blue beaches of Indonesia, even as it stands desi-fied. Deceptively easy and quick meal-fix that also serves as comfort food!

I love rice. It’s just – the white, limp grains of polished rice don’t do much for me anymore, but the chewy, nutty texture of unpolished variants of rice I’m ever willing to incorporate into my diet. Several nutrition ‘experts’ and ‘self-appointed gurus’ may object to inclusion of rice in one’s meals, stating they’re majorly carbs and ‘carbs are evil’. Wrong. No particular food group is evil per se. Unpolished, whole-grain rice is rich source of thiamines, iron and dietary fiber. Yes, it does have considerable amount of starch, but combine it with greens, proteins and healthy fats, and you have a well-balanced, nutritional meal. Rice is not your enemy if you get your portion sizes and balance right!

Nasi Goreng is one of my recently acquired favorites – it’s a one-wok, delicious stir-fry that’s loaded with sweet, spicy and savory flavours – how often do you come across such varied flavour profile in one dish! If you’re a fan of spices yet looking for a comfort food option, this is an ideal meal choice! I also put my unique spin on it by adding radishes (leaves included) and chickpeas to my stir-fry dish. Radish brought an enjoyable zest and chickpeas are a great source of protein and dietary fiber. I also topped my dish with a fried egg (‘cuz how can you call it Nasi Goreng otherwise!) – you could include your choice of seafood or chicken in it too.

I used wild black rice for my dish – NOT the Chinese imported and expensive variety, but an indigenous variety grown in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. It can be procured online through some Indian portals, but I bought mine from a retail store for a very reasonable cost in Hyderabad. Black rice is slightly more nutritional than its brown counterparts, since the bran remains entirely intact when the grain is separated from the husk. Once cooked, it’s chewier and nuttier too, and has greater satiety quotient. It fills the tummy with greater ease, so a little quantity goes a long way.

If you like this recipe, you could also try my Pad Thai Noodles & Fried Tofu in Peanut Sauce, Creamy Barley Risotto or Healthy Quinoa Mung Dal Khichdi

Nasi Goreng with Black Rice & Chickpeas


Serves 4

Preparation Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup black rice, long grain
  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled /canned
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 7-8 garlic pods, minced
  • 3 carrots, medium, chopped
  • 2 radishes, medium, chopped (greens included)
  • 1 cup tomato paste (preferably fresh; can used canned)
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (see NOTES for making your own)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sambal oleak
  • 1 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 4-5 sprigs of coriander/ cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp paprika flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil, divided


Soak black rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain and cook in an open pot in 3 cups of water. Transfer the cooked rice in a bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Heat some of the oil in a wok. Stir fry onion slices and minced garlic until golden brown. Add tomato paste, boiled chickpeas, carrots, radishes and greens. Stir fry until veggies are cooked.

Combine kecap manis, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, sambal olek in a cup and mix well. Add the mixture to the wok.

Add fluffed rice to the wok and stir-fry for few minutes.

In a separate pan, heat the remaining oil and swirl so it coats the pan evenly. Crack open an egg. Cover with a lid and cook until the yolk sets. Season with salt, paprika and a pinch of sumac for some tangy flavor. Fry each egg in similar manner separately.

Serve the fried rice in a bowl and top with the fried egg. Garnish with coriander sprigs and lemon juice.


I’d love to hear how this recipe turned out for you, if you tried it. Do post a pic on Instagram and tag #fitfoodiediary in the picture!


Energy 328 calories
Protein 13.6 g
Fat 7.5 g
Carbohydrates 48 g
Of which, Fiber 7.1 g

*Recipe is for 4 servings; all values in grams.

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