Chana Pulao is a simple one pot dish that's flavored with lots of spices so that every bite is a riot! Serve this with raita or your favorite curry for an easy, vegetarian dinner.
One pot recipes are such a lifesaver these days. Especially with our 3 month old daughter Mahi in the mix. Hustle has a different meaning now. So whenever I cook, I'm always thinking of maximizing flavor and nutrition with minimal prep and cooking.
Kabuli chana pulao fits the bill so perfectly. Chickpeas are full of protein and I love their creamy texture when they are cooked properly. But it can also get a little heavy on its own. Which is why I also like adding vegetables to the mix. I've used carrots, potatoes and cauliflower this time, but beans, mushrooms, paneer also work really well in this pulao.
Chickpeas and rice is a classic combination. Chana masala and chhole aloo taste best when they are paired with some steamed or jeera rice. That was basically our inspiration when we were testing this recipe out. As you read the recipe, the list of spices and ingredients might seem a little long, but since this is one pot, the spices help add a ton of flavor to this dish. And you know, we don't do bland food.
Canned chickpeas vs. dried chickpeas
In India, we are not big fans of canned food. And except sweet corn and condensed milk, I don't remember ever seeing canned stuff in the kitchen. Which is why the chickpeas used in this recipe were cooked from scratch. I soak dried chickpeas overnight and then pressure cook them till they are cooked. To save time, you can cook a batch every week and store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days. But if you don't want to take the effort, feel free to substitute with canned chickpeas. Just make sure to drain all the liquid and give them a quick rinse.
Chana Pulao Serving Suggestions
Since this chana pulao has so much flavor on its own, I recommend pairing this with a simple vegetable raita or even some greek yogurt with cumin and salt. The raita adds a cooling effect to the spices and also helps digest the chickpeas easier.
Got Leftover Rice? Whip up some of these recipes:
Watch Chana Pulao Recipe Video
Kabuli Chana Pulao
- 1 cup Basmati Rice long grain
- 2 tablespoon Ghee / Oil
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds / Jeera
- 1 pinch Asafoetida / Hing
- ½ teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds / Methi dana
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds / Rai
- 1 teaspoon Nigella Seeds / Kalonji
- 1 teaspoon Fennel / Saunf
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 Green Cardamoms
- 2 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 cup Onions sliced
- 2 teaspoon Ginger - Garlic Paste
- 1 cup Chickpeas or Kabuli Chana boiled
- 1 Potato diced into cubes (medium)
- ½ cup Carrot diced
- ½ cup Cauliflower Florets
- ½ cup Tomato chopped
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder or Haldi
- ½ teaspoon Chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
- 2 tablespoon Coriander freshly chopped
- Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and fennel and let the seeds crackle.
- Next add bay leaf, cardamoms and cinnamon and fry for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry till they are slightly brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for ½ a minute stirring continuously.
- Add boiled chickpeas along with potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and salt and cook for two minutes stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, turmeric and chilli powder and cook for another minute or two. Next add the soaked rice and 2 cups of water. Also add the garam masala and crushed kasuri methi. Give this a quick stir.
- Once the rice comes to a boil, lower the heat and cook covered till the rice is done and all the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat. Fluff rice with a fork. Serve hot garnished with the chopped coriander.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas can be used in this recipe. Just drain off all the liquid and give them a quick rinse before adding them to the pot
- Rice: You can substitute short grained rice for basmati rice. The cooking time will have to be adjusted
- Vegetables: Apart from the vegetables mentioned above, beans, mushrooms, paneer also taste great in this pulao
- Water: To add more flavor, you can use vegetable or chicken stock instead of water
- Vegan Chana Pulao: To make this recipe vegan, use oil instead of ghee
Sarah Skeldon says
Made this for the first time today and it's totally scrumptious. The flavours and textures are a knockout and it's not too spicy for us. That may have been because I swapped the Chilli Powder for Red Pepper Flakes (Pul Biber), which we prefer, and changed the Nigella seeds (again, I didn't have them) for Caraway Seeds. I served it with Cumin Raita and Mango Chutney, just in case it was too hot. I made the whole recipe for the two of us and there's enough left for tomorrow! Is this on my menu for a regular favourite? You bet it is.... thanks, Amira!
Jessica Cecilia says
Thank you for sharing this recipe. This recipe its very helpful to us. Now my mother has been using this recipe to make this food. I'm waiting for the next recipe. Thanks You
Terrance McDaniel says
I made Chana Pulao for the first time in life. This recipe is AMAZING!
Thank you so much Terrance!
This recipe is so easy to prepare kabuli chana and rice 😋. I love your recipes ❤️ even I have tried your "mexican corn fritters" that actually took 15 mins to cook and was very delicious. Keep on sharing 👍
Yaay! Thanks so much Maria!
Mary K Molnar says
I have never heard of many of these spice as well as seeing them stocked at our local grocers or Penzies.
This is not a lot for an Indian recipe 🙂 We rely on spices for flavour. Trust me, the end result is perfect!