Pakistani Chana Pulao – Authentic Chickpea Rice

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Pakistani Chana Pulao - Authentic Chickpea Rice

Healthy Chana Pulao recipe is a fragrant one-pot vegan dish. It is simple to cook with soft white chickpeas, basmati rice, and accompanied by onion, tomato and herbs, as well as delicious spices. Similar to other pulao. This Vegan pulao cooks in 30 minutes and serve with raita, curry, salads, different curry and Kebabs.

What is Chana Pulao?

The tender white peas (garbanzo beans) with aromatic basmati rice, balanced and bold spice, freshly-cut herbs and sweet tomatoes are what make this the most awaited and delicious pulao. This chickpea pulao recipe is an excellent and satisfying food item.

I love this chhana rice dish because of its beauty, which lies in its simplicity and flexibility. Either tailor the spice level according to preference, add a variety of vegetables, or replace the chickpeas with another legume. It is a protein-rich, hearty deal, perfect for everyday lunch, dinner, or other special events.

This (chickpea pilaf) is a savory, nutty and comfort food for vegetarian rice love. It is a classic traditional rice dish hails from Pakistan and India. This Rice Pulao has many other names (chickpeas pulao, Chana Pulao, Chana rice, Chole rice, Kabuli chana pulao, and many others). If you are a rice lover then don’t forget to check out my Dal Chawal Recipe.

The Rice to water ratio is very important for maintaining the rice texture. For one cup of rice, I will add Two cups of water for old-grained rice (1:2 – Rice : Water)

How To Serve Chickpeas Rice

  • Raita: Serve this delicious pulao with yogurt-based raita or Mint chutney. It helps to balance out the spices in chana rice.
  • Salad: Add kachumber salad with it.
  • Pickles. Mixed vegetable pickles (achaar) can be pair with it to give a zesty kick.
  • With Curry or Dal: Serve this flavorful chana rice with a side of vegetable curry or any dal (lentil).
  • Papadum: Serve the pulao with papadum to add crispiness.
  • Kabab: Add Seekh kabab or Shami kabab or aloo ki tikki to balance the taste.
  • Egg: Garnish your pulao with boiled egg, fried rice, and mint leaves.

Grandma’s Chickpea Pulao Legacy

How can I forget the memory of my grandmother’s chana pula recipe? Her pulao and mutton biryani were always delicious. The rice was cooked perfectly, and the flavors were heavenly amazing. It’s almost been 20 years, and I still remember that taste of healthy chickpea pilaf recipe. I often cherish and think about this chickpea rice.

In my culinary life, I have experienced how chickpea pulao has become more popular on restaurant and hotel menus. It’s a filling, substantial, one-pot meal with a blend of spices and different herbs. Sometimes folks also add a protein like lamb and chicken 🙂 Different cooking methods have been introduced, like pressure cookers and instant pots. It has gained global recognition with the variations by international chefs. But I always prefer chickpeas pulao recipe of my grand mom.

best chana pulao recipe

Chickpea Pulao Ingredients

  • Chickpeas: Here, you have two options to choose from. Either Good quality canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas. If you opt for canned chickpeas, go with Bush’s, Progresso, and American Garden. These are my personally tested brands. If you have dried chickpeas, Soaked overnight and Boil them.
  • Basmati rice:  I recommend you use long-grained aged basmati rice from a good brand. Mostly I use Royal’s Chef’s Secret Basmati rice.
  • Garlic + Ginger: To add Aromatics to deepen flavor, we will add garlic and Ginger paste. Or peeled grated/minced ginger and garlic.  
  • Whole spices: We will add classic pulao spices, including bay leaf, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cumin seeds, and black cardamom.
  • Onion Tomato: I will use a nice large onion, which is one of the base ingredients of this rice One-pot pilaf recipe. Chop them both.
  • Ghee or Oil: It Enhances the browning of onions to the desired level. It also adds flavor to the dish.
  • Fresh Green chili: It adds aroma and a gentle heat kick. This isn’t a requirement, especially if you’re serving with something spicy. Chop them or slit it into two pieces.
  • Cilantro + Fried Onion: These are optional ingredients for a pleasant garnish.
  • Water: cooking liquid from rice and chickpeas. For Rice use (1:2 Rice:water).

chana pulao ingredients

What is the Accurate Ratio of Water and Rice?

The water and rice ratios are different for both Stovetop and instant pot. If you are making pulao using a Stovetop. For one cup of rice, I will add two cups of water. (1:2 – rice : water)

But for the instant pot, it is different. We will use 1.25 cups of water for one cup of rice. (1:1.25 – Rice : water

How to Make Chana Pulao on the Stovetop

This protein-packed pulao is not only easy to make but also quick and straight forward. It involves three steps. 

  1. Chickpeas Prep
  2. Rice Prep
  3. Cook other ingredients with chickpeas and rice

Soak & Rinse chickpeas: Soak them in a bowl. Cover with Enough water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas properly. Add them to pressure cooker along with salt (as required) and 5 cup of waters. You can also use an Instant Pot or stovetop pan, adding water as needed (3 to 4 cups).

wdd water in the pressure cooker

Cook Chana/Chickpeas: Put the pressure cooker on medium to medium-high heat for 20 minutes or 4 to 5 whistles or until chickpeas are soft and tender. Some aged chickpeas take longer time to cook.

close pressure cooker

Wait the whistle to fell down and release the pressure naturally and then open the lid. If using canned or leftover boiled chickpeas, rinse it carefully and properly with water.

keep the chickpea aside

Soak the Rice: If you want soft and fluffy rice, it is important to wash and soak it properly before starting to cook it. By soaking, rice absorbs the water and turns into a softened texture. Long-grain rice takes more time to achieve optimal fluffiness.

soak the rice

Brown the onion:  First thing first, after adding oil and ghee saute the whole spices and brown the onions for a richer flavor and better brown color. Stir it frequently and deglaze the pan to help it brown evenly.

brown the onion

Ginger, Garlic, Whole spice: As the onion turns to a translucent color, add ginger garlic paste, green chilies, powder spices, red chili powder, and salt to taste and saute it well.

add whole spice and ginger garlic paste

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are optional. Some people don’t like to add them in pulao. But I think it is a very important and mut have item. You can skip them if you don’t like. Saute them with mixture until mushy.

add tomato

Add Spices: Here we will only add salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder only.

add spice powder

Add Chickpeas: When your onion spices and herbs cook well, add chickpeas and stir it with the mixture. Please give them a good mix. Next, add measured water to this mixture and wait for it to boil.

add chickpea

Add Rice: Now, it’s time to add rice. Drain all the excessive water from the rice. Please drain the rice properly; no extra water goes into the mixture with the rice. Remember: Only add the rice when the water is boiling.

add rice

Adjust Salt: While bringing everything back to a boil, use this moment to perform a final salt test, taking into account that the rice has soaked up some of the salt.

adjust salt level

Simmer The Rice: Let the rice simmer until the water has evaporated or absorbed (Must follow the picture for water level). At this point, turn the heat medium-low.

simmer the rice

Dum/Steam: Cover the lid tightly with a kitchen cloth or paper towel, and cover the pan perfectly. Let the pulao steam for 12 to 15 minutes, but keep it at the lowest heat. You can also use heat diffuser. Your spiced rice with chickpeas is ready. Fluff the rice with spoon and serve hot.

cook on low heat for 15 minutes

Cooking Methods:

You can make this versatile and nutritious chickpea and rice dish, either on the stovetop with simple pan or in pressure cooker- instant pot. Even you can use a rice cooker. Whatever method you choose, this recipe of chana pulao is easy to cook and enjoy anytime.

The calorie count in this Pulao with delicious chickpeas is always depends on the recipe and its ingredients. Calories range from around 240 to 490 calories per serving.

Extra tip for Rice:

  • Soak the Chickpeas: If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight to ensure they become tender and boil them before cooking.
  • Thoroughly Rinse the Rice: To avoid the sticky rice, rinse the rice properly to remove any excess starch.
  • Cook on Medium Heat: This helps in even cooking and prevents the pulao from burning at the bottom.
  • Cook undisturbed Let the rice cook undisturbed. Because stirring may break the kernels and disrupt heat buildup.
  • Adjust Water Quantity: The amount of water needed can vary based on the type of rice and cooking method. For instant pot (1:1.25 rice:water) and Stovetop (1:1.5 Rice:water)
  • Don’t Disturb Rice: When the rice is on steam (dum), don’t disturb the rice until cooking time is completed.
  • Perfect steam time: When you notice the water mostly absorbed or evaporated, and little potholes forming on the rice’s surface, it’s time for the final steam.

chana paluo rice

Frequently Asked Question

How To Make Traditional Indian white gram Pulao?

Saute the herbs, onion, tomato, spices, and boiled chickpeas, then add soaked rice and water. Cook unless rice is tender and water is evaporated. Garnish it and serve hot.

Is it helpful for weight loss?

Yes, this is a high-protein vegetarian rice recipe, chickpeas are high in protein and fiber. And this profile helps to weight loss. Spices (cumin and coriander) boost the metabolism, again good for weight loss. Overall, it helps, but intake should be balanced.

What is the calorie count of Chana Pulao?

The calorie counts is always depends on the recipe and its ingredients. Calories range from around 240 to 490 calories per serving.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, Chana Pulao is an adaptable dish, can quickly be customized depending on what ingredients are readily available in your kitchen. I have provided my complete and a comprehensive stepwise guide in this detailed article. I have also included the most asked question, the water-to-rice ratio. Now, you have no reason left. Please try it and share your results. Thanks, and have a good time.

Pakistani Chana Pulao Recipe

This aromatic pulao is a fragrant one-pot vegan dish. It is simple to cook with soft white chickpeas, basmati rice. Similar to other pulao. It taks only 40 minutes and serve with raita, curry, salads, different curry and Kebabs.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: chana pulao recipe, chickpea rice
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 345kcal

Equipment

  • 2 Deep Pan
  • 1 Pressure Cooker
  • 1 large deep Pan For rice Cooking

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Rice (480g)
  • 1 Cup Chana (Chickpea) -240g
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes
  • 4-5 Pieces Green Chilies
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • ÂĽ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 100 Grams oil
  • 4 Cup Water

Whole Spices

  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Pieces Bay Leaves
  • 1 Piece Cinnamon stick
  • 10-12 Pieces Black Pepper Corns
  • 10-12 Pieces Cloves

Instructions

Chickpeas Prep:

  • Soak & Rinse chickpeas: Soak them in a bowl. Cover with Enough water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas properly. Add them to pressure cooker along with salt (as required) and 5 cup of waters. You can also use an Instant Pot or stovetop pan, adding water as needed (3 to 4 cups).
    wdd water in the pressure cooker
  • Cook Chana/Chickpeas: Put the pressure cooker on medium to medium-high heat for 20 minutes or 4 to 5 whistles or until chickpeas are soft and tender. Some aged chickpeas take longer time to cook.
    close pressure cooker
  • Wait the whistle to fell down and release the pressure naturally and then open the lid. If using canned or leftover boiled chickpeas, rinse it carefully and properly with water.
    keep the chickpea aside

Rice Prep

  • Soak the Rice: If you want soft and fluffy rice, it is important to wash and soak it properly before starting to cook it. By soaking, rice absorbs the water and turns into a softened texture. Long-grain rice takes more time to achieve optimal fluffiness.
    soak the rice

Cook Other Ingredients

  • Brown the onion:  First thing first, after adding oil and ghee saute the whole spices and brown the onions for a richer flavor and better brown color. Stir it frequently and deglaze the pan to help it brown evenly.
    brown the onion
  • Ginger, Garlic, Whole spice: As the onion turns to a translucent color, add ginger garlic paste, green chilies, powder spices, red chili powder, and salt to taste and saute it well.
    add ginger garlic paste
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are optional. Some people don’t like to add them in pulao. But I think it is a very important and mut have item. You can skip them if you don’t like. Saute them with mixture until mushy.
    add tomato puree
  • Add Spices: Here we will only add salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder only.
    add spices
  • Add Chickpeas: When your onion spices and herbs cook well, add chickpeas and stir it with the mixture. Please give them a good mix. Next, add measured water to this mixture and wait for it to boil.
    add chickpea
  • Add Rice: Now, it’s time to add rice. Drain all the excessive water from the rice. Please drain the rice properly; no extra water goes into the mixture with the rice. Remember: Only add the rice when the water is boiling.
    add rice
  • Adjust Salt: While bringing everything back to a boil, use this moment to perform a final salt test, taking into account that the rice has soaked up some of the salt.
    adjust salt level
  • Simmer The Rice: Let the rice simmer until the water has evaporated or absorbed (Must follow the picture for water level). At this point, turn the heat medium-low.
    simmer the rice
  • Dum/Steam: Cover the lid tightly with a kitchen cloth or paper towel, and cover the pan perfectly. Let the pulao steam for 12 to 15 minutes, but keep it at the lowest heat. You can also use heat diffuser. Your Best chana Pulao recipe is ready. Fluff the rice with spoon and serve hot.
    cook on low heat for 15 minutes
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