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One Pot Chana Pulao | One Pot Chickpea Pilaf

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Chana Pulao is a simple one pot dish that’s flavoured with lots of spices so that every bite is a riot! Serve this with raita or your favourite curry for an easy, vegetarian dinner. This easy one-pot spiced fragrant pulao is made with basmati rice, kabuli chana, herbs and spices.

One pot recipes are such a lifesaver and chana pulao fits the bill so perfectly. Kabuli chana or chickpeas are full of protein and I love their creamy texture when they are cooked properly. For this  chana pulao obviously you have to first cook the chickpeas. If you have leftover boiled chickpeas then it saves a lot of time. Canned chickpeas can used as well!

Another variation to the same dish can be by adding vegetables to the mix. You can use carrots, green beans, potatoes and cauliflower or you can add mushrooms or paneer. It really tastes good this way too. But this time I wanted the star of the dish to be the chickpeas and I kept it a very simple one pot meal.

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 flavour 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.

Serves 4

1 cup boiled chickpeas,
2 cups basmati rice,
1/2 cup green peas,
1 medium to large onion, sliced thinly
1 medium tomato, chopped
4 cups boiling water
1 inch cinnamon stick,
2 green cardamons, crushed,
2 bay leaves,
1 tsp jeera,
2-3 green chillies, slit
1 tsp red chili powder + more if required
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Juice of half a lime
2 tbsp ghee
Some mint leaves, chopped
Some coriander leaves for garnish
Salt as per taste


  1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, add the cinnamon stick, cardamon, bay leaves and jeera. Saute for 1-2 mins.
  2. Add the sliced onions and saute until translucent
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute well. Add in turmeric, red chilli and garam masala powder and mix well.
  4. Add the chickpeas and green peas. Add in some salt and mix well.
  5. Add in the basmati rice and saute for a 3-4 mins until the masala is nicely coated on the rice. Add in the boiling water carefully.
  6. Next add the chopped mint and lemon juice. Adjust the salt and spice one last time.
  7. Cover and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  8. Once the pressure releases, remove the pulao on a serving plate.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander and browned onions (optional)
  10. Serve hot with a raita of your choice.

This pulao recipe is a great lunch box or tiffin box recipe for both kids and adults. It is a great option as it is perfectly balanced with carbs from rice, proteins from the chickpeas and fibres from choice of veggies added in the pulao recipe.

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thefitdotme

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