Kala chana pulao or brown chickpeas is a traditional Indian Rice recipe. Delicious pilaf made with brown chickpeas, spices, herbs and coconut milk is an easy quick one-pot meal. It is equally perfect for quick lunch or dinner or a lazy brunch.
What makes this brown chickpeas pulao stand out is, warming flavours of peppery Turmeric, coconut. I love how these flavours are beautifully complemented with the earthy taste of brown chickpeas and aromatic basmati rice.
If you like to have a keeper of a one-pot meal recipe that tastes fabulous, is super healthy and easy to make, this brown chickpeas rice casserole is a must-try.
What is Pulao or Pilaf?
Pilaf, pulao, pulav or pilav is a traditional rice dish that is popular across the Middle East and Indian sub-continent. There is a wide variety of rice dishes that are cooked with an array of veggies, beans, eggs, meat etc. Usually, everything is cooked together in one pot and most of these rice dishes and casserole are aromatic and very flavourful.
There are many variations of pulav based on the availability and popularity of ingredients in different regions. When you cook pilaf or pilau essentially that means cooking rice along with spices and some broth or hot water in such a way that it has a distinguished fragrance and looks. Each grain of rice stays separated.
Kala Chana Pulao Recipe
This is not your regular chana pulao. I made a few tweaks to the pulav recipe and make it slightly different as pulao is normally cooked in India.
I added two ingredients that made this Kala chana pulao stand out. Coconut milk adds a rich flavour and healthy fats. And, turmeric not only gives a beautiful golden hue but makes it healthier as well. Generally, turmeric is not used in making pulav but do give it a try, chances are you will love it.
If you are looking for ways to include turmeric in your diet this chickpeas pilaf / kala chana pulao recipe should definitely be there in the recipe repertoire.
Brown chickpeas/kala chana: Brown chickpeas is popularly known as Kala chana. In English, this is known as horse gram. It is a variety of chickpeas that has thick dark brown skin. As compared to chickpeas the brown chickpeas also known as desi chana is considered more nutritious.
Coconut Cream: Coconut, rice and spices are a delicious combination of flavours. Also, this is a good source of fat.
Paneer: Paneer is a good source of paneer and tastes good as well. If you are making it vegan you can substitute it for tofu or simply skip it.
Spices and Seasonings: Salt, red chilli powder or paprika, roasted red chilli flakes, turmeric powder,
Fresh: Onions, ginger, coriander leaves
Fats: You can use coconut oil, ghee or butter as per your choice
Recipe Notes and Tips
- You will have to use cooked black chickpeas or canned brown chickpeas. Raw chickpeas take time to cook. If you add just soaked chickpeas rice will turn into a messy mush. So using cooked chickpeas is super important.
- PRE-COOK Brown Chickpeas: Soak kala chana/brown chickpeas for 6-8 hours discard water and add them in either instant pot or traditional pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water and ½ teaspoon salt. If you are cooking brown chickpeas in the Instant pot set it on pressure cooker mode and set the timing for 20 minutes. If you are using pressure cooker cook for 5 whistles.
- You can use canned brown chickpeas after draining them. You do not need to pre-cook them.
- Water to Rice ratio: When you cook rice it is important to take care of water to rice ratio for perfect texture of rice. I use 1.5 cups of water for each cup of basmati rice.
- I roast rice with oil/ butter or ghee and spices helps to enhance flavour, texture and reduce GI value.
- I cook the pulao in the pan but you can totally make it in the Instant pot or regular pressure cooker ( refer this Chickpeas pulao recipe)
This pulao is a complete meal by itself. You can serve a bowl of chilled yogurt and a cucumber salad alongside.
Kala Chana Pulao freezes easily in an airtight freezer-safe container. For reheating, thaw them first or shift them to the fridge side for a few hours and reheat in the microwave.
While reheating sprinkle a few drops of water. This prevents the drying of rice in the microwave while reheating.
More Such Recipes
- Instant pot Brown Chickpeas curry
- Black Chana Masala
- Peas Pulao
- Chana Pulao- chickpeas rice
- Sookha Kala Chana/ Dry Spicy Chickpeas
- Veg Pulao
- Rajma Pulao
- Instant Pot Veg Pulao
- 200 gm basmati rice
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 150 gm brown chickpea (cooked)
- 100 gm paneer
- ¾ cup coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- to taste salt
- 100 g onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon red chilli Kashmiri powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes and keep aside. After 20 minutes discard water and use the rice as per recipe steps.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium-low heat.
- Add sliced onion, and chopped ginger cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion softens.
- Add the cubed paneer and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Then add cooked/chickpeas, if using canned brown chickpeas drain them and use. Add turmeric powder and red chilli powder and ground cumin.
- Add rice and combine everything well to coat rice with spices and roast them slightly.
- Now add coconut cream, vegetable stock and thin coconut milk and stir to combine.
- Cover with a lid and when it starts to boil reduce the heat to low and cook pulao for 10 minutes.
- After 10-12 minutes when all the water from the rice is cooked and rice grain are cooked through remove the lid and squeeze fresh lime juice and coriander/cilantro leaves.
- Serve it in a bowl and top with chilled yogurt, green chutney and enjoy for a delicious quick and healthy lunch brunch or dinner.