Chana Pulao | Chickpea Rice

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If you’re looking for a vegan, filling, and nutritious dinner that will have your mouth watering by the sound of its name then look no further than this Chana Pulao. With fluffy basmati rice combined with creamy Chickpeas in 45 minutes flat – it tastes so good!  

This dish makes an easy lunch meal option to satisfy your cravings without all those pesky animal-based ingredients or fat grams (vegan too!). It’s perfect whether served as one large bowlful or two smaller ones depending on how hungry everyone is feeling.

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HOW TO MAKE CHANA PULAO (Stepwise Instruction with video)

1. Take 4 tbsp of cooking oil into a frying pan and let it heat a bit.

2. Add 1 medium-sized sliced onion into that heated oil.

3. Fry the onions for about 5 – 6 minutes on medium to high heat until it changes to golden-brown.

Notes: You can also use red onions instead of white onions.

4. After frying the onions, add 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, 4 pcs of cloves, 5 pcs of black peppercorns, 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 1 pc bay leaf, 1 pc star anise, 1 pc mace, and 3 pcs green cardamom to it.

5. Sauté these whole spices for about 1 – 2 minutes on medium to low heat.

Cooking tip: Do not fry the whole spices on high heat, this is to prevent them from getting burnt and losing their flavors.

6. Add 1 tbsp of ginger garlic and green Chili paste into it and let it fry until the raw smell of garlic goes off.

General tip: Try to prepare this paste at home as ginger garlic and fresh green chilies will be tastier as compared to store-bought ones.

7. Add 1/3 cup of chopped tomatoes into it.

8. Cook the tomatoes for about 3 – 4 minutes, until it becomes soft and mushy.

9. Add 1+1/2 of salt 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder,1/4 tsp nutmeg powder, and half tbsp of dry mint leaves.

Cooking tip: Reduce the heat to medium before adding the ground spices to avoid it getting burnt. You can also add 3 – 4 fresh mint leaves instead of dry mint leaves.

10. Roast the spices for about 1 – 2 minutes on low heat.

11. Add already soaked and boiled 1+1/2 cups chickpeas and give it a good stir.

12. Add 1/4 tsp of garam masala powder and 1/2 tbsp of mixed-pickle. Mix everything well for about 2 – 3 minutes.

Note: You can skip adding pickles or even add different flavored pickles according to availability.

13. Add 4 cups of water and give it a boil.

Note: Different types of rice may require different amounts of water.

14. Add 2 cups of rice (soaked for 30 minutes) and let the rice cook for about 10 – 12 minutes on medium to high heat.

Cooking Tip: Soaking the rice before cooking will help to cook the rice faster and make it tender.

15. Stir it lightly for few seconds.

16. Cover with lid and let it cook for about 7 – 8 minutes on medium to low heat. But note the cooking time may vary slightly if you have used other varieties of rice.

17. The delicious and tasty chana pulao is ready to serve.

Tips for preparing Chana Pulao the right

1. Soaking of Chickpeas

  • Don’t forget to soak the chickpeas before cooking them. Soaking chickpeas is an important step as unsoaked dry ones will take too much time to cook and won’t be that tender when eating them.
  • You can soak the chickpeas for a few hours or overnight before cooking them.

2. Cooking Chickpeas in Advance

  • You will not have to cook the chickpeas at the spot if you prepare them in advance and store them in your refrigerator for later use.
  • You can use this tip for faster prep by making sure they’re already cooked beforehand so all we need to do when it comes time is add some spices, rice, and other ingredients.
  • You can also use the cooked canned chickpeas.

3. Soaking the Rice

  • It is important to soak the rice before cooking because it helps the grains become soft and easy to cook, which also speeds up cook time.
  • You will need to soak the rice for a specific amount of time depending on what type it is. Sometimes details can be found in the rice packaging itself.

4. Add the proper amount of Water

  • Add proper water quantity while cooking chana pulao. Less water will make the chana undercooked and excess water would make it very soft/mushy.
  • Different types of rice require varying amounts of water to cook. For this recipe, we are adding double the amount but you can adjust according to your specific needs for cooking different kinds of rice.

A Great Recipe for your Office & Kids Lunchbox

This chana pulao is an amazing healthy recipe to pack for your lunch. This dish will keep you energized and full for hours.

It’s perfect if you need some extra protein or wants something light that doesn’t have too many carbs in it.

If you are in a hurry to get out the door and need something quick, healthy yet tasty this recipe can be prepared within minutes. You may also have time if prepare it using an instant pot or cooker which will save both your energy and cooking time.

About Chana Pulao

Rice, chickpeas, and spices are the three main ingredients in this recipe. The rice absorbs all of its flavors from other ingredients so it’s not just bland or boring; on top of that, there’s an aromatic quality because some whole spices have been added in good measures.

This recipe of Chana pulao is sure to impress your friends and family with its rich, earthy flavors. You can make it in a pressure cooker, instant pot, or stovetop without sacrificing any of the deliciousness.

Using Basmati Rice for this Recipe

The best way to make this dish is by cooking it with long grain basmati rice because you’ll get increased flavors and great texture too.

You can also use any other type of rice which is easily available at your home or nearby store. If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with different varieties.

Brown rice is a great option for those who want to avoid carbs, but still, reap the benefits of this nutritious and tasty dish.

Not only does brown rice provide more fiber than traditional white varieties (which can help reduce cholesterol levels), it also has minerals such as iron that help maintain energy throughout our day.

Using Homemade or Canned Chickpea

The best way to get the most out of your meal is by making sure you have prepared all ingredients in advance. This recipe starts with prepping our garbanzo beans or white chickpeas in advance which will take only a little time but it’s always a good idea when cooking them at home.

But you can also add the cooked canned chickpeas to save your time and energy of cooking them. Canned beans and chickpeas are especially budget-friendly since they have a long shelf life.

The Ratio of Water to Cook the Rice

For this recipe, we are adding four cups of water to cook two cups of basmati rice that is double water than the rice amount.

Cooking Tip: Add the water according to the type of rice you are going to use for this recipe, as different types require a varying amount. Like jasmine rice, brown rice, saraga samba rice.

When deciding how much water to use, the rice’s previous soaking will affect its outcome. If it has not been soaked previously then you may require more than if it had been pre-soaked before cooking begins.

Other Pulao Recipes

Chicken Pulao

Recipe Card

Chana Pulao

Course: Main CourseCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium
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Cooking time


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A delicious, protein-packed dinner that will leave you wanting more. This dish features basmati rice and creamy chickpeas cooked together with tomatoes to give it an incredible flavor. It’s vegan yet filling – basically, everything we want our meals in life (or at least most days) tastes good as well.


  • 4 tbsp Cooking oil

  • 1 pc Onion

  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

  • 4 pc Cloves

  • 5 pcs Black peppercorns

  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick

  • 1 pc Bay leaf

  • 1 pc Star anise

  • 1 pc Mace

  • 3 pcs Green cardamom

  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic chili paste

  • 1/3 cup Tomato chopped

  • 1+1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder

  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg powder

  • 1/2 tbsp Dry mint leaves

  • 1+1/2 cup Cooked and boiled chickpea

  • 1/2 tbsp Pickle

  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala

  • 4 cups Water

  • 2 Cups Rice soaked


  • Into a heating pot, add cooking oil 4 tbsp, sliced onion 1 pc, and let it fry for about 5 – 6 minutes on medium to high heat until it becomes golden brown.
  • Add cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, cloves 4 pcs, black peppercorns 5 pcs, cinnamon stick 1/2 inch, bay leaf 1 pc, star anise 1 pc, mace 1 pc, green cardamom 3 pcs and sauté them for about 1 – 2 minutes on medium to low heat.
  • Add ginger garlic green chili paste 1 tbsp and let it fry until the raw smell of garlic goes off.
  • Add chopped tomato 1/3 cup and let it cook for about 3 – 4 minutes until the tomatoes become soft.
  • Add salt 1+1/2 tsp, turmeric powder 1/4 tsp, Kashmiri red chili powder 1/2 tsp, nutmeg powder 1/4 tsp, dry mint leaves 1/2 tbsp, and let it cook for about 1-2 minutes on low heat.
  • After this, add soaked and boiled chickpea 1+1/2 cups and give it a good stir.
  • Add garam masala powder 1/4 tsp, pickle 1/2 tbsp, and mix it well for about 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add water 4 cups and bring it to a boil, then add rice (soaked for 30 minutes) 2 cups and let it cook for about 10 – 12 minutes on medium to high heat.
  • Give the rice a slight stir for few seconds then cover and cook for about 7 – 8 minutes on medium to low heat.
  • The delicious and amazing chana pulao is ready to serve. You can serve it with any curry, raita, or chutney with some pickle to enjoy in your meal.

Recipe Video


  • You can use any type of mixed Indian pickle to add to this recipe.
  • If you don’t have basmati rice, you can replace it with any kind of rice according to availability.
  • You can also use canned chickpeas (cooked or boiled). But using fresh ones will always taste better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can We use Canned Chickpeas?

Yes, you can use cooked canned chickpeas to prepare your chana pulao. The process of doing so is very quick and convenient. Using canned chickpeas will save you the time and energy to cook them from scratch.

Q. What type Of Rice should we use?

The chana pulao is always a popular dish and this vegetarian recipe can be prepared with any type of rice.

We are using long grain basmati rice in this recipe because it has a better texture and taste.

Q. Is It necessary to soak the Rice and Chickpeas before cooking them?

Did you know that soaking the rice, lentils, or any other type of dry food before cooking them will make it more tender and easy to cook?

As you can see, the rice soaked for 30 – 40 minutes before cooking takes less time compared to unsoaked rice.

Chickpeas generally need more soak time. It will take the chickpeas a good amount of hours to soak or even better if you leave them soaked overnight. They are much better when soaked before cooking as opposed to just being boiled hard directly.

Q. Can we skip the adding of Pickle into the recipe?

No pickles? No problem! This recipe is perfect without the pickle too. Other spices will provide enough flavors to make it delicious and you’ll never know there’s not a pickle in it.

Although, Indian-style mixed pickles are a wonderful addition to any recipe. They will provide more tangy flavors with their masala and sourness.

Q. Is Chickpea Healthy?

Chickpeas are high in fiber so they can help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease by lowering serum LDL (“bad”) cholesterols levels or fighting off diabetes with their potent antioxidant properties.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and many vitamins. One cup provides 269 calories with 15 grams in total carbs to help keep you fuller for longer! They may be packed with nutrients including iron magnesium potassium zinc folate vitamin A&B6 among others.

Note: Although chickpeas have numerous health benefits. We suggest you consult your dietitian or doctor if you are on a strict diet plan or you need professional diet advice.

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