Chana Pulao

Chana Pulao is a delicious and mildly spiced pulao that is prepared using rice, boiled chickpeas, also known as chana or kabuli chana, onion, tomato and spices. If you have boiled chana in hand, this pulao can be prepared in a jiffy and makes a perfect lunch box recipe.

Chana Pulao

Whenever I plan to make chana masala, chana kurma or other chana based dishes, I soak, boil and reserve little chana to make this pulao. Chana or chick peas are very nutritious and full of protein, also a favorite in my home. With the addition of rice and some spices, this pulao fits the bill perfectly and makes an excellent dish to be packed as a lunch. Easy to make, delicious and also less time consuming, this pulao is apt for those busy mornings when you have less time yet want something healthy to feed your family. I prepare this pulao using both white as well as black chana (karuppu kadalai).

I like the fragrance of seeraga samba rice, hence used it in this pulao preparation. You can replace it either with Basmati or regular daily use rice variety too. I had prepared it for a little more than 1 ¾ cups of rice. Below is the recipe for one cup of rice after scaling down the ratio.


Rice – 200 gms (Seeraga Samba Variety or Basmati)
Boiled Chana – 1 cup
Onion – 1 big sized
Tomato – 1 medium sized
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp heaped
Green chilli – 1 slit
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Curd – 1 ½ tbsps
Salt to taste
Water – 1 ¼ cups
Oil + Ghee – 4 – 5 tsps
Coriander leaves to garnish

To temper
Shahi jeera – ½ tsp
Cinnamon – ½”
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 1
Bay leaf – 1



Prep Time – 10 mins
Cook Time – 15 mins
Total Time – 25 mins
Serves 2-3

  1. Wash the rice and let it soak in water while you cut the veggies.
  2. Chop the onion, tomato and slit the green chilli. Make ginger-garlic paste using 1” ginger knob and 8-10 garlic cloves. You can use a small mixer jar or pound using a mortar and pestle. Keep everything ready.
  3. Heat oil + ghee in a small pressure cooker. Add the items under ‘To temper’ and sauté for half a minute.
  4. Add the chopped onion along with the ginger-garlic paste and slit chilli. Sauté until the onions turn pink and the raw smell of the ginger-garlic paste goes off.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook till mushy. Now, add the chilli and turmeric powder along with salt to taste. Saute well for another 2-3 mins.
  6. Add the curds and the boiled chana and mix.
  7. Add rice and water as needed for the rice to cook. At this stage, check for salt and spice levels and add, if required.
  8. Cover and pressure cook until done and wait for the pressure to release on its own. Open and fluff with a fork.
  9. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serve this yummy Channa Pulao with a thick curds or any raita of your choice or pickle or any gravy.

Chana Pulao


  1. I had boiled chana left over in the fridge, hence used it. If boiled chana is not readily available, you can soak around 50 gms of chana in water overnight and then pressure cook it for 3-4 whistles adding ¼ of salt and use it. Also, you can use the stock for cooking the pulao instead of water.
  2. I used seeraga samba rice variety. You can use any rice variety that you like. Adjust the water quantity as needed for the rice. For seeraga samba varitey, I normally use 1 ¼ cups of water for 1 cup of rice and for basmati, I use 1 ½ cups of water.
  3. I used oil + ghee, you can use skip ghee and use only oil too.
  4. Using shahi jeera gives a nice aroma. If not available, you can substitute it with jeera/seeragam/cumin seeds or saunf/sombu/fennel seeds.
  5. The amount of green chilli and chilli powder used gives a mildly spiced pulao. If you want it spicier, increase the quantity of green chillies or chilli powder.
  6. For a richer taste, you can replace water with coconut milk.
  7. For variations, you can add garam masala powder or pav bhaji masala powder.

2 comments for “Chana Pulao

  1. Jul 11, 2016 at 9:53 am

    yumm-some pulav…lovely share

    • Deepa
      Jul 13, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks Vani

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