Chana Pulao
Chana Pulao
5 from 1 vote
This flavorful rice dish is a delightful mix of aromatic spices, tender chickpeas, and fluffy grains. Perfected with a blend of traditional flavors, it offers a harmonious balance of savory, tangy, and fragrant notes.
Chana Pulao

Chana Pulao is a flavorful and satisfying dish that has deep roots in Indian cuisine. This traditional recipe combines the earthy taste of chickpeas with fragrant spices and fluffy rice, creating a dish that is both comforting and nutritious.

Originating from the North Indian region, Chana Pulao has been enjoyed for generations as a wholesome meal that warms the soul.

The recipe for Chana Pulao may seem daunting at first, with its long list of ingredients and complex blend of spices. However, with a bit of patience and practice, anyone can master the art of making this delicious dish.

The key to a successful Chana Pulao lies in the careful balance of flavors and textures, ensuring that each component complements the others perfectly.


Rice: Rice is the base ingredient for Chana Pulao and provides the main bulk of the dish. It is cooked until tender and fluffy, absorbing all the flavors of the other ingredients.

Chickpeas: Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, add protein and texture to the dish. They are hearty and satisfying, making the pulao a filling meal on its own.

Oil: Oil is used for sautéing the onions and spices, adding richness and depth of flavor to the dish. It also helps to cook the rice and chickpeas evenly.

Onion: Onions are a key ingredient in Indian cooking, providing a sweet and savory flavor base for the dish. They are sautéed until caramelized, adding a rich aroma to the pulao.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a touch of acidity and brightness to the dish. They help to balance out the other flavors and provide a juicy element to the pulao.

Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds have a warm, earthy flavor that is essential in Indian cuisine. They add a nutty aroma and depth of taste to the pulao.

Black Peppercorn: Black peppercorns bring a subtle heat and pungency to the dish. They are slightly spicy and aromatic, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the pulao.

Cloves: Cloves have a strong, sweet, and spicy flavor that adds warmth to the dish. They are used sparingly, as they can overpower the other ingredients if added in excess.

Bay Leaves: Bay leaves add a subtle, aromatic flavor to the pulao. They are typically used in Indian cooking to infuse a fragrant essence into the dish.

Cinnamon Sticks: Cinnamon sticks provide a warm, slightly sweet flavor to the pulao. They add a hint of spice and fragrance, making the dish more complex and flavorful.

Garlic Paste: Garlic paste adds a pungent, savory flavor to the pulao. It is used to enhance the overall taste of the dish and create a well-rounded seasoning profile.

Ginger Paste: Ginger paste has a spicy, citrusy flavor that brings a zesty kick to the pulao. It adds a unique brightness to the dish and complements the other spices and ingredients.

Green Chillies: Green chillies provide a fresh, fiery heat to the pulao. They add a spicy kick and vibrant color to the dish, enhancing its overall appeal.

Salt: Salt is an essential seasoning that enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients. It helps to balance out the sweetness and spiciness of the dish, bringing all the flavors together harmoniously.

Garam Masala: Garam masala is a blend of Indian spices that adds a warm, aromatic flavor to the pulao. It typically includes spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves, adding depth and complexity to the dish.

Serving Suggestions and Variations

Serving Suggestions:

  • Chana Pulao can be served with a side of yogurt raita, which helps balance out the flavors and provides a cooling effect.
  • Pair Chana Pulao with a fresh salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions dressed with lemon juice and chaat masala.
  • Garnish the Chana Pulao with fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice for added freshness and flavor.
  • Serve Chana Pulao with a side of pickle or chutney for an extra burst of tangy flavor.


  • To make the Chana Pulao more nutritious, add vegetables like carrots, peas, and bell peppers along with the chickpeas.
  • You can also add protein like boiled eggs or cooked chicken pieces to make the dish heartier and more filling.
  • For a spicier version, increase the number of green chillies or add red chilli powder to amp up the heat.
  • Try adding a handful of roasted cashews or almonds for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chana Pulao?

Chana Pulao is a savory Indian rice dish made with basmati rice, chickpeas, and various aromatic spices.

Is Chana Pulao vegetarian?

Yes, Chana Pulao is a vegetarian dish as it is made with chickpeas and rice, and does not contain any meat or animal products.

What are the key ingredients in Chana Pulao?

The key ingredients in Chana Pulao include basmati rice, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala.

How is Chana Pulao typically served?

Chana Pulao is often served hot as a main dish, alongside raita (yogurt sauce), salad, or pickles. It can also be enjoyed with a side of plain yogurt or papadum.

Can I customize Chana Pulao to suit my taste preferences?

Yes, you can customize Chana Pulao by adding or omitting spices and vegetables according to your taste preferences. You can also add protein such as paneer or tofu to make it more substantial.

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Chana Pulao

Chana Pulao

by Nabeela Kauser
This flavorful rice dish is a delightful mix of aromatic spices, tender chickpeas, and fluffy grains. Perfected with a blend of traditional flavors, it offers a harmonious balance of savory, tangy, and fragrant notes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 5
Calories 416 kcal


  • 300 g Rice
  • 240 g Chickpeas
  • 50 ml Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorn
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 600 ml Water


  • Wash the rice thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in enough water for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Sauté for a minute or until fragrant.
  • Add garlic paste, ginger paste, and chopped green chilies. Sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add finely chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6-8 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
  • Now, add chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until they soften and release their juices.
  • Stir in salt and coriander powder, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the spices are well combined with the onion-tomato mixture.
  • Add the drained chickpeas to the pan and mix well. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Pour in the water and bring it to a gentle boil. Once the water starts boiling, add the soaked and drained rice to the pan. Mix gently to combine all the ingredients.
  • Cook the rice on high heat for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until about 80% of the water is absorbed.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice cook for another 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the Chana Pulao sit, covered, for another 5 minutes to allow the steam to finish cooking the rice.
  • Fluff the pulao gently with a fork and transfer it to a serving dish.
  • Serve hot with yogurt, raita, or your favorite curry. Enjoy your flavorful and aromatic Chana Pulao!



The more you cook the onions, the darker your rice will be
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 10gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.04gSodium: 543mgPotassium: 389mgFibre: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 440IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chana, Cooking, Dinner, Food, Pilau, Pulao, Ramadan, Recipe, Rice
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (2)

Nabeela Kauser

Thanks for pointing that out. I apologize for any confusion. I used coriander powder, but garam masala works well too. Feel free to use whichever you prefer based on your taste. 🙂

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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