Chickpeas Rice Recipe (Channa Pulao/Pilaf)
With rice being a staple food at home, its inevitable that it finds its way more often than not. On days when I am running late in the mornings, I rely on quick rice dishes to pack lunches instead of parathas/rotis (That's Indian tortillas for the non Indians). Needless to say, I like to keep them simple and quick but I look for ways and means to add some nutrition to the meal. Eating just rice is like plain calories without nutrition hence vegetables and some sort of protein is a must for me. The source of protein comes in various ways and for today - I have chosen the most simplest and humblest of protein sources. Chickpeas. They are so versatile and can be used in so many different ways. I always have soaked chickpeas on hand storing some in the fridge for days like these. They can be added to almost all dishes and make it not only hearty and delicious but also nutritious.
Chickpeas Rice Recipe (Channa Pulao/Pilaf)
Vegetables are of course needed in the daily diet (we are vegetarians - what else is there to eat otherwise!! ;)). I love this rice for the simplicity and sheer beauty by way of its color and vibrancy. This can be made even more simple if you have leftover rice, frozen vegetables and cooked chickpeas on hand (canned one works great - just remember to rinse it very well in cold water first).  The Bread croutons that you see is entirely optional. I add it to sneak in some wholegrain to the mix too :) and they are dry toasted instead of fried. :) This dish is v minimal in fat with the entire dish being cooked only in 1 tsp of oil. A little plain curd and pickle completes this dish for us - but you can pair it up with any side dish of your choice.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • 1 cup basmati rice (or any long grained rice - leftover rice works great too)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or use canned for quick version)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (or cumin seeds)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 whole cardamom pods
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot,cubed
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • about 1/2 cup toasted wholegrain bread cubes for garnish (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • few sprigs of cilantro to garnish
1. I would suggest soaking the rice for about 20 minutes in some water. This helps the grain to remain separate while cooking although its completely optional. I do it when I have the time. Heat a skillet and add 1 tsp of oil. Add the fennel seeds. Once aromatic ad the onions, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf , turmeric, salt and give it a quick toss.
2. Add the carrots and stir for another 40 seconds or so. Add the rice (if presoaked drain it well). Saute it well until aromatic and the rice becomes translucent.
3. Add 2 cups water (you might need +/- 1 cup water depending on the quality of rice). Close the lid and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the rice is cooked and you see all the water is absorbed. Add the chickpeas along with frozen vegetables.
4. Give it a gentle stir and garnish with cilantro. If using cooked rice, add carrots along with frozen vegetables. Let them cook until soft. Add chickpeas and once mixed, add the cooked rice. Give it a mix and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the rice is warmed thoroughly and all the vegetables have combined well with the rice.
Instead of fried bread croutons, I dry toasted wholegrain bread  and garnished it with the rice. Its optional of course. I did it on a whim and fancy (or to be honest I had one stale bread waiting to be used ;)). Any curry and raita will go well with this rice. Chickpeas Rice Recipe (Channa Pulao/Pilaf)

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5 Member Reviews

By Kumiko on Apr 5, 2012

I used the frozen mix-vegitables - quick, easy and very aromatic.  I'll make this again for sure! 

By Pari on Jan 8, 2011

I've taken to the passion of cooking recently and came across your website. Its amazing and there are so many dishes that i want to try ... i started with this one.

My husband loves rice and this is a great way of mixing pulses with rice. I also added some sprouts and it tasted great!


Read All 5 Reviews →


By Nandi on Jun 28, 2016

Chickpeas are full of protein.ohhh !! Thanks for very simple and may be tasty .

By Carmen fenech on Aug 2, 2014

Please I would like to start receiving your recipes in my inbox

By Arthur in the Garden! on Feb 1, 2014

Yummy! Lovely!

By Matt on May 6, 2013

Great recipe, I deleted some of the ingredients because I didn't feel like going to the store and to further add to my laziness I made it in my rice cooker while stirring occasionally... Thanks.

By simriti on Dec 2, 2012

I made it, and it's yum. Only thing I added was one dry red chilly.

By Susie on Sep 13, 2012

This looks delicious and I shall add it to my repertoire. Thank you for your fascinating posts, I really look forward to reading them. When you refer to "curd" do you mean fresh cream cheese :?:

By Karen on Jul 22, 2012

I will definately be trying this! How do you make it set in shape?

I just used a cup :) --DK

By Karl MacPhee on Jun 14, 2012

This meal looks wonderful when fully cooked, and the aroma is also fantastic. We doubled the recipe but only had cardamom powder so I am not sure how much that affects the taste. We used 1/2 chicken broth/1/2 water but in the end, all agreed that it needs a bit more taste. We are going to do all broth next time, and look at using the full cardamom pods, to see if the taste will be improved. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it is a nice meal and when doubled is enough for our family of 5 for 2 days.

By sharon on Mar 29, 2012

i'm from Ghana and i just went to your page to read some recipes and i think i like them and would love it if you could send me some of your recipes through my mail.

By monika on Dec 15, 2011

I think adding a little chola masala will enhance the taste

By Tried & Tasted – Chef In You Roundup | DesiFood Buzz - Exclusive indian food recipes straight from Indian kitchen. on Jul 15, 2011

[...] Spicy Roti from here, Vegan Pad Thai from here and finally Chickpea Pulao & Bread Raita from here & here..30-33)Swapna of Simple Vegetarian Recipes tried Black Eyes Peas & Potato Curry from [...]

By reema on Mar 28, 2011

looks very colourful & delicious too

By Priya on Sep 21, 2010

Very delicious and colourful chickpeas rice..

By Happy Cook on Sep 21, 2010

I am sure gonna bookmark this, looks really yummy.I too am always looking for making rice in different ways.

By anupachi on Sep 21, 2010

D K :-) awesome... mouthwatering... definitely gonna try it out. but dont think i ll get frozen corn.. its ok if i go ahead without it right...

By Sharmilee on Sep 21, 2010

Colorful looking rice....I too have my version of channa pulav...but ur idea of adding other veggies is interesting

By arundati rao on Sep 20, 2010

looks so good... love the colours

By Abhi on Sep 20, 2010

Hi! thanks for the fab recipes! I get your recipes in my mail box and for last few updates, the link in the email takes to your page but does not show the latest post. It gives ur default sorry message. Don't know if anyone else is having the same issue. Thought u wud like to know. Keep up the gud work!

By Cool Lassie on Sep 20, 2010

Very simple and easy to put together. Love the click. About your question -- The quick bread I made was devoured by one and all. Will post about it soon and fill the "I made this" form.

By Smitha on Sep 20, 2010

looks so beautiful and it!! Smitha

By Anu on Sep 20, 2010

Love the colors! And there's nothing in here that I would not smack my lips with! Perfect meal!

By Nishi on Sep 20, 2010

The rice looks so colourful and delectable Divya. Just great!!

By Tweets that mention Chickpeas Rice Recipe | Channa Pulao (pilaf) | Chef In You -- on Sep 20, 2010

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by D_K and D_K, D_K. D_K said: Chickpeas Rice [...]