200g dried chickpeas or 1-2 tins, (as much as you like)


1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled

75ml olive oil

150g currants or raisins

1 large tomato (200g) or half tin chopped tomatoes

5ml spanish paprika, pimenton dulce or paprika

1.25litres of meat or chicken stock

500g medium-grain Spanish rice or risotto rice


Source: the Food of Spain - Claudia Roden

Serves: 8


If using dried chickpeas, soak in water for 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, drain,  put them in a pan with plenty of cold water and simmer for 1hour, until they are soft, add some salt only when they have begun to soften.

Drain when ready and reserve.

Soak the dried fruit in water for 30 minutes, then drain and reserve.

Preheat oven to 200C

Wash the head of garlic and dry well.

Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan in possible. If none available transer to oven proof pan when all ingredients are together.

Put in the garlic and half the dried fruit and stir over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomato, pimenton or paprika and stir well.

Add the chickpeas, stock and salt to season.

Bring to boil, add the rice and stir well. Now pour into oven proof dish if necessary.

Move the head of garlic to the centre of the rice, sprinkle with the remaining dried fruit over the top.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until rice is tender, cover for final minutes if drying out.

When serving, break open the head of garlic and give everyone a clove to squeeze out the soft inside.

Selected recipes



This recipe is from Claudia Roden's new book, The Food of Spain. She suggests that it is served with potatoes or mash. We tried Baked Rice with Currants and Chickpeas - arroz al horno can pasas y garbonzos- very delicous and perfect accompaniement.

I had to use some substitutes when I made this recipe.

No chickpeas in the cupboard so a tin of butterbeans was added.

Only had Italian risotto rice and then about 175g left in the box. I scaled down the recipe and it worked fine and made a generous amount  for two.

I used currants as they are not quite as sweet as raisins, also did not soak the fruit no real noticeable diference as the fruit cooks in the stock.

I did not use a whole head of garlic, I added 4 large unpeeled cloves instead, again worked well, delicous to have the soft garlic with the rice.

The finished dish is lovely, the rice has a great nutty texture, baking in the oven stops it getting too soft.