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Monday 30 March 2020

Chana Pulao / Spicy Chickpea and Rice Recipe

Chana Pulao is a healthy dish made with spice flavored chickpeas and rice. Adding vegetables like carrots to this pulao makes it all the more wholesome and filling. This vegan and gluten-free one-pot meal can be served for lunch or dinner with salad, curd or any raita of your choice. Chana Pulao makes up for a delicious lunch-box menu as well. If you have boiled chickpeas ready at hand this chana pulao can be made under 20 minutes. The best part about this chana pulao is that it comes to rescue when you run short of fresh veggies.

Meals without Perishable Vegetables 

While India implements a complete, nation-wide 21-day curfew-like lockdown owing to the Corona pandemic, it is our prime duty to stay at home for the safety and betterment of ourselves, our families, our loved ones and for the nation as a whole. During such times, procuring fresh vegetables and fruits every day is practically not possible. As a result, we need to think of meal ideas without perishable vegetables. Luckily, Indian cuisine has many food dishes that actually do not need fresh vegetables. Dahi Papdi Chaat , Aloo Chana ChaatKale Chane ki ChaatCorn BhelJhal Muri are some of the snacks that can be made even if you have just onions and tomatoes in your kitchen pantry. Breakfast dishes like Adai dosaPesarattuInstant Khaman DhoklaInstant Suji UttapamKuzhi PaniyaramOats and Dalia IdliMinestrone Soup with Kidney beansOvernight Oats can be made with just lentils and grains and are yet very nutritious. In main course, we have many dishes that literally do not require any fresh vegetables like, Gatte Ki SabjiDal BattiKachi Haldi Ki SabjiPanchamel DalBajra KhichdiRajma MasalaDal makhaniPunjabi Kadhi PakoraPindi Chole, Kashmiri Dum Aloo, aloo posto, Achari Aloo.

What goes into this Chana Pulao?

Chana Pulao as the name suggest has two key ingredients, rice and chana or the chickpeas. any long grain rice can be used to make this pulao. I have used Basmati rice. Chickpeas are soaked overnight and then pressure cooked for 2 whistles. On cooking, the chickpeas should be soft to touch but yet retain their shape as we will be cooking them again along with rice. Whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, caraway seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaf make the chana pulao very aromatic and flavorful. Apart from this i have used chole masala powder, red chili powder, and garam masala which give a spicy kick to the pulao. You may however adjust the spice levels as per your spice tolerance and liking. I have added homemade tomato puree as my son does not like the cooked tomato chunks in this pulao, you may substitute it with finely chopped tomatoes if you wish. sliced onions, garlic, ginger and green chili paste are other ingredients required to make this chana pulao. I have also used diced carrots here, you may simply skip it or use other veggies of your choice like, french beans, green peas, potatoes, etc. Fresh coriander leaves impart a refreshing taste to the pulao. if you have fresh herbs ready at hand, you may use it or skip altogether. 

Related Event

Cooking with rice is the 240th theme on our Facebook Gourmet group, Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme was thoughtfully suggested by a co-blogger Narmadha taking into account the limited resources we all have owing to the lockdown. Narmadha wanted us to cook a dish that had rice as the key ingredient. She has many interesting rice dishes like Verkadalai Sadam (Peanut Rice), Karuveppilai Sadam ( Curry leaves rice) and Coconut Milk Rice which do not require fresh vegetables at all. This humble yet nutritious and delicious Chana Pulao is my contribution towards the theme.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 5

  • 1 cup rice (preferable long-grain rice like Basmati)
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas (soaked and boiled)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 black peppercorn
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds (shah jeera)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chole masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped.
  1. Rinse the rice in water for 2-3 times and soak in clean water for 10 minutes. Grind the ginger, garlic and green chili in a grinder jar and keep aside until use. Chop all the veggies and keep the boiled and drained chickpeas and spice powders ready at hand. In a pressure cooker, heat oil on medium flame. Add cumin seeds, caraway seeds, bay leaf, cloves, and black peppercorn. let the spices sizzle for a few seconds before adding sliced onions. Stir-fry the onions for about a minute. Next, add garlic, ginger and green chili paste to it.

2. Stir well and saute the ginger garlic paste for 30 seconds to one minute before adding the diced carrots. Stir-fry the veggies for another 1-2 minutes. Now, add tomato puree and saute it until you see oil oozing out from sides.

3. At this stage, lower the flame and add spice powders, turmeric powder, red chili powder, chole masala. Stir fry the spices with the veggies for 30 seconds or so.

4. Add boiled chickpeas and soaked, drained rice to it and stir fry for about a minute. Add around 2 1/2 cups hot water to it. Season with salt and add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves to it. Give a good stir and cover the pressure cooker with a lid. Pressure cook the chana pulao for 2 whistles and then put off the flame.

5. Open the pressure cooker lid, once all the pressure has been released naturally. Fluff the pulao with a fork and serve the delicious chana pulao with salad and raita of your choice. I have served the chana pulao with Maharashtrian style Kakadichi Koshimbir (Cucumber Raita).

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.
For more rice dishes, do check out the following recipe links from this blog


  1. wow..one pot meal for lockdown..

  2. I love such one pot meals ..chana pulao is another yumm way to feed protein rich chickpeas to kids.. Pulao looks so flavorful and making it in pressure cooker cuts on the time cooking time too. Wonderful share.

    1. Thank you Swaty. I prefer cooking this pulao in pressure cooker as it is quick without loosing the nutrition value.

  3. Chana pulao looks absolutely scrumptious . Love this nutritious one pot meal .

  4. I love Chhole Pulav! A simple, one-pot meal, quick to prepare, but so very flavourful and hearty. Yours looks so delicious and inviting! :)

  5. Love this chana pulao.. nutritious, wholesome, filling and a one pot meal. This lockdown has definitely forced those who cook to become so innovative.

  6. One pot meal is perfect for this time. And I love this type of one pot rice dish. Chana pulao looks so flavorful and mouthwatering. Loved this aromatic and delicious one pot meal.

  7. What a yummy solution to my Sunday meal problem. I am fagged out n the girls want something new n delicious. This Sund they definitely getting this pulao that takes care of protein too.

    1. Thank you di. Do share your feedback with us di.

  8. Chana pulao looks very inviting with nice aroma and goodness of chana Poonam. One pot meal with both health and taste.Also loved your collection, amazing recipes to try.

  9. Chana pulao is looking so flavorful Poonam ! We also enjoy this one pot meal using chickpeas. It is much quick to prepare as well.

    1. Ypu are right Sasmita. This is a quick , healthy and delicious one pot meal

  10. I make this so often with the cooked chickpeas I always have in my freezer. looks so inviting poonam - with just a raita / papad, its a delicious meal :)

  11. I always love these one pot recipes and it saves us lot of time. Use of chana makes it more healthy and nutritious.