Chana Pulao is a delicious, Indian-style chickpea and rice one-pot casserole. It is gluten-free, vegetarian, and so easy to cook in an instant pot or pressure cooker. Be sure to watch the video!
About Chana Pulao
In the Indian subcontinent, pulao is a commonly used term to describe a variety of one-pot rice dishes.
Chana Pulao is a one-pot meal of rice, chickpeas, potato, onion, and spices. It is also known as chole ka pulao, channa rice, chickpea rice, or kabuli chana pulao. All these names describe – a wholesome, packed with flavors, Indian-style spicy rice casserole.
More Reasons To LOVE Chana Pulao
- easy to pack and reheat
- gluten-free and vegetarian
- one-pot, wholesome, fulfilling
- perfect for lunch box or potluck
- instant pot and stovetop friendly recipe
Do you need any more reasons to bookmark this awesome chickpea rice recipe?
Canned vs Dried Chickpeas
You can use canned or dried chickpeas for making the pulao. I prefer using dried chickpeas for this pulao recipe, Indian chana masala, or making chickpea salad.
Cooking chickpeas from scratch in the masala make pulao more delicious.
If you are using canned chickpeas…
- Saute Time: 7 Minutes
- Cook Time: 3 Minutes
- Total: 10 Minutes
Drain the canned chickpeas in a colander or sieve. Rinse with water to get rid of preservatives and starchy liquid. Add them to the masala along with uncooked rice. Cook for 3 minutes in PRESSURE COOK mode and the pulao is ready!
If you are using dried chickpeas…
- Saute Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 33 Minutes
- Total Time: 43 Minutes
Rinse and soak chickpeas in water for 4 – 5 hours or overnight. Drain all the soaked water. Transfer the chickpeas to the inner pot of the IP along with masala (as suggested in the recipe).
Add water. If you have 1 Cup of chickpeas add 1 ¼ cups of water.
Close the lid of the IP. Set the PRESSURE COOK mode. Move the pressure valve to the Sealing position. Cook the chickpeas for 20 minutes (I like fully cooked, soft chickpeas and not al dente).
After 20 minutes, open the lid, check chickpeas for doneness, and add soaked rice, and potatoes. Stir to mix. Cook for 3 Minutes in the PRESSURE COOK MODE.
Rice: Use long-grain basmati rice or any other medium-grain white rice with less starch for making the pulao.
Vegetables: I add diced potato. You can add green peas, carrot, beans, fenugreek leaves, or any other vegetables of choice.
Whole Spices: Black and Green Cardamom, Bay Leaf, Cumin Seeds
Spice Powders: Garam Masala or Chana Masala or Biryani Masala, Turmeric Powder, Red Chili Powder
Cooking Oil: You can use either ghee or vegetable refined oil. I use refined oil and add ghee separately while pressure cooking the pulao.
Other Ingredients: Red Onion, Ginger Garlic Paste, Salt, Green Chili
Instant Pot Cooking Method
Step 1) Set the SAUTE Mode of IP for 10 minutes. Add cooking oil, bay leaf, cardamom, and cumin seeds to the inner pot of IP. Saute spices for 20 – 30 seconds to release the aroma.
Step 2) Next, add sliced onion and fry till the onion become light golden.
Step 3) Add ginger-garlic paste, soaked chickpeas (no water), salt, spices, and stir to combine. Saute for 1 – 2 minutes. (If you are using canned chickpeas then at this stage you can add rice, potato, water and cook the pulao for 3 minutes.)
Step 4) Next, add water and stir. Seal the lid of the IP. Cancel SAUTE Mode. Set PRESSURE COOK Mode for 30 minutes to cook chickpeas.
Step 5) After IP beeps, release the pressure. Open the lid and check chickpeas for doneness.
Step 6) Add potato and soaked/drained rice. Stir to combine. Seal the lid. Set PRESSURE COOK mode for 3 minutes.
Step 7) After the set cooking time, open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork.
How To Cook On Stovetop
Can this kabuli chana pulao recipe be made on a traditional stovetop pressure cooker if I don’t have an instant pot? Yes, you can easily make this chana pulao in the traditional pressure cooker.
Follow the pulao recipe ingredients, measurements, and cooking method. Cook soaked chickpeas for 2 – 3 whistles on low heat. Allow the steam to release naturally.
Add soaked rice, stir to combine, and once again cook for 1 whistle. Open the lid, and fluff the pulao using a fork.
Usually, I prefer slow-cooking rice without a lid in the pressure cooker. Once the rice is cooked, the liquid is dried, cover, and slow cook (dum cook) pulao for 3 – 5 minutes at the lowest heat.
My Tried & True Tips
I use 1 + ¼ cups of water to cook 1 cup of dried chickpeas and 1 cup of rice. Adding too much liquid to cook rice always results in a mushy and sticky pulao.
For cooking liquid, you can use vegetable stock, chicken broth, or plain water.
Apart from potatoes, one can add broccoli, peas, carrot, squash, greens, or any other seasonal vegetable in this chana pulao.
You can add a teaspoon of achaar (pickle) masala or (leftovers masala from the pickle jar ) if you want to make Achari Kabuli Chana Pulao.
Here are a few side-dish suggestions that compliment chana pulao:
Mint Raita or Buttermilk (Chaas)
Green Chutney or Tomato Chutney
Chilled Masala Yogurt or Curd
Pickled Onion or Kachumber Salad
Indian Style Curry or Gravy Sauce
Watch Pulao Video
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Instant Pot Chana Pulao Recipe
- Instant Pot
- 1 Cup dried chickpeas (kabuli chana)
- 1 Cup basmati rice
- 4 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
- 1 black cardamom
- 4 green cardamom (elaichi)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 Cup sliced onion
- 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste (see recipe)
- 2 green chili, sliced
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 Cup diced potato
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (see recipe)
- 1 ¼ Cup water
Prep Work For Pulao:
- Wash and soak the dried chickpeas in water for 6 hours or overnight. Skip this step if you are using canned chickpeas. Instead, rinse canned beans with water and transfer them to a colander.
- Rinse and soak basmati rice in water for 20 minutes.
How To Make Pulao:
- Set the SAUTE Mode of IP for 10 minutes. Add cooking oil, bay leaf, cardamom, and cumin seeds to the inner pot of IP. Saute spices for 20 – 30 seconds to release aroma.
- Next, add sliced onion and fry till the onion become light golden. Keep stirring them while frying.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, soaked chickpeas (no water), salt, turmeric, red chili powder, chana masala, and green chili. Stir to combine. Saute for 1 – 2 minutes. (If you are using canned chickpeas then at this stage you can add rice, potato, water and cook the pulao for 3 minutes.)
- Next, add water and stir. Seal the lid of the IP. Cancel SAUTE Mode. Set PRESSURE COOK Mode for 20 minutes to cook chickpeas.
- After IP beeps, release the steam manually. Open the lid and check chickpeas for doneness. I like soft and fully cooked chickpeas in my pulao.
- Drain all the water from the soaked basmati rice. Add potato and rice to the IP. Stir to combine. At this stage, taste the liquid for seasoning, if required add more salt or spices. Seal the lid. Set PRESSURE COOK mode for 3 minutes.
- After the set cooking time, open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork. Cover with the IP lid and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
- You can use canned chickpeas as well to make this pulao.
- Add only 1 cup of water if using canned chickpeas. Cook the pulao only for 3 minutes after adding canned chickpeas, potato, and rice. Saute time 7 – 10 minutes.
- I use 1 ¼ cups of water to cook 1 cup dried chickpeas and 1 cup rice.
- Ginger Garlic Paste is equal parts of both herbs grind to a smooth paste. If you do have the paste, add half a teaspoon each of grated ginger and minced garlic.
- You can easily make this chana pulao in the traditional stovetop pressure cooker. Follow my step-by-step instructions shared above in the post.
- For cooking liquid, you can use vegetable stock, chicken broth, or plain water.
- Apart from potatoes, one can add broccoli, peas, carrot, squash, greens, or any other seasonal vegetable in this chana pulao.