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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Channa Pulao Recipe-How to make Channa Pulao

Channa Pulao is a flavorful and a very simple dish. As channa (chickpeas) is rich in protein and fiber, this pulao is very healthy and makes a wholesome meal. It also makes a perfect lunch box recipe. Though I have used kala channa, you can also use kabuli channa for preparing this pulao. This dish comes to rescue when one does not have the time or energy to cook an elaborate meal yet want something nutritious, comforting and tasty. Today let us learn how to make Chick peas pulao following this easy recipe with step wise pictures.

Channa pulao
Easy Kala Channa Pulao
How to prepare Channa Pulao

Prep time - under 15 mins
Cook time- under 30 mins
Serves - 2

Ingredients needed 

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Kala Channa or Kabuli Channa or chick peas- 1/2 cup
Onion - 3/4 cup (cut lengthwise)
Green Chilli - 1-2 slit
Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp
Mint leaves -fistful
Coriander leaves- fistful
Thin coconut milk - 1 3/4 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Chilli powder -1 tsp
Garam masala powder -1 tsp
Salt as needed

For the seasoning

Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp ( or 1 tbsp oil +1/2 tbsp butter)
Cloves -2
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Cardamom -1


Soak channa overnight or for 5-6 hours. Pressure cook till soft adding very less water and salt. Keep it aside.If there is water in the channa, you can use it to dilute the coconut milk.

Soak basmati rice for 20 minutes. Drain the water completely. Heat a tsp of ghee, add 1 clove and 1 inch cinnamon and fry the drained rice for a few minutes or until the water evaporates.

For coconut milk -I diluted 1/4 cup thick coconut milk with water to make 1 3/4 cup thin coconut milk. (ie) I add 1 1/2 cup of water to 1/4 cup thick coconut milk.


Rice is sauteed with a tsp of ghee and kept ready below.(see pic 1) This is done just to add flavor to the rice. (optional)

Now take a pressure pan, heat oil, add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and saute for a few seconds.

Add onions, green chilli and saute until onions turn pink.

make chick pea pulao

Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a few more seconds. Add cooked channa, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, mint leaves, coriander leaves and salt needed. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

Kala channa pulao

Add thin coconut milk and lemon juice.When it starts boiling add the rice and mix well.

How to make channa pulao

Check for salt at this stage. Taste the water and see.If you need salt, add now and mix well. Close the pan and pressure cook for 1 whistle and keep it in very low flame for 5 minutes and switch off. Open after the pressure subsides and gently fluff the rice with a fork.

Another method- If you do not want to pressure cook, close the pan without weight.Once the rice is half cooked, stir the contents and close the pan with weight and keep it in low flame for 4 minutes. Switch off and let it stand for 5-6 minutes. Then open the cooker and gently fluff the rice.

how to prepare channa pulao

Serve hot with onion pachadi or mixed vegetable raita or any sides dishes like paneer butter masala, aloo gobhi or quick potato gravy etc.


You can cook basmati rice in many ways. Beginners can refer How to cook Basmati rice

You can cook rice separately until 80% done, cook the gravy separately and layer it and cook for another 5-6 minutes.

Use ready made coconut milk or extract milk by grinding grated coconut with warm water and filter it. The first extract is the thick coconut milk.

If you do not want to add coconut milk, just add water instead of that but adding coconut milk makes the pulao more delicious.

Tips on choosing side dish for Pulao (for beginners)

If  the pulao is very simple, you can go for a rich side dish like paneer butter masala, lauki kofta or dum aloo etc

If the pulao/biryani is rich and spicy, go for pachadi or raita to balance the spiciness.

If it is a tomato based rice dish like cauliflower rice, do not go for tomato based side dish.

For Indo Chinese fried rice, go for Indo Chinese side dish like gobi manchurian, chilli paneer etc

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  1. yummy and protein rich rice...

  2. Can have this channa pulao even everyday,one of my favourite pulao.

  3. Delicious and flavorful one pot meal.

  4. A Very healthy one pot meal, neat presentation!!!

  5. healthy and tasty pulao..

  6. Looks yummy and inviting. Happy new year

  7. very healthy n perfect vth rice combo!!
    Wishing you & family a very Happy New Year !!

  8. Tried this recipe today, came out very well. Thanks a ton PADHU for the easy instructions

  9. Padu this is an awesome recipe and a big hit :) started following this recipe for all the Biriyani varieties I make and it tastes so good... Thank u

  10. Hi Padhu.. can I use Kabuli chana instead of black chana for this recipe?


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