Instant Pot chickpea pulao step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Chickpea pulao or chana pulao is a one-pot rice and chickpea casserole. When made in an Instant Pot, this gluten-free and vegan dish is ready in 20 minutes (with 10 minutes of hands-on time). This delicious and nutritious chickpea pilaf is perfect for potluck, gatherings, and lunchboxes.
Make this chickpea pilau and serve with vegetable raita for weeknight dinners or on busy days. All you need is some basic pantry ingredients and a few spices. This chickpeas pulao is also a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Read on for ingredients, useful tips, step-by-step instructions, and recipe video to make this healthy chana pulao.
Related: South Indian chana masala.
Chickpeas: I have used two cans of chickpea (each can weighing 15 oz/425 grams). See the tips section below for more details.
Rice: Use Basmati rice to make pulao.
Spices: The whole spices I use are cumin seeds, bay leaf, whole pepper, green cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. The powdered spices I use are garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder.
Onion, ginger, and garlic: They form the base of the pulao.
Potatoes: They are optional and can be skipped.
Other ingredients: Lemon juice and coriander leaves.
Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add oil. Once it heats, add cumin seeds and whole spices (bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves). Saute for 1 minute (steps 1).
Add onions and saute until they are translucent, about 2-3 minutes (steps 2,3).
Add ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, chili powder, and garam masala (step 4).
Saute the spices for one minute (step 5). Add chickpea, rice, potatoes, Basmati rice, and salt (steps 6,7).
Add 2½ cups of water and give it a good mix (step 8).
Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure (steps 9,10).
Add lemon juice and cilantro. Mix gently taking care not to break the rice (steps 11,12).
I have used 2 cans of chickpea here (each can weighing 15 oz/425 grams). After draining the liquid, it gave me a total of 3 cups of chickpea (18 oz/500 grams).
Drain the water and rinse the chickpea well.
If using dry chickpeas, soak them in water overnight. Follow this recipe until adding chickpea. Cook chickpea separately for 20 minutes, then add rice water and cook for a further 5 minutes. Use 1.5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of dried chickpeas.
Use Basmati rice or any variety of long-grain rice to make this chickpea pilaf. Also, it is important to soak the rice for 20-30 minutes.
The rice to water ratio I am using here is 1 to 1¼. This gives me perfectly cooked slightly chewy rice. You can reduce the water by ¼ cup for a firmer texture or increase the water by ¼ cup for soft cooked rice.
For best tasting pulao, use the spices I mentioned in this recipe. However, if you don't have access to some of the spices, you can skip them.
To complete this meal on a sweet note, try this Baklawa recipe made using filo pastry or puff pastry.
You can make this dish in a stovetop pressure cooker. Follow this recipe with a 1 to 1.5 rice to water ratio and cook for two whistles in the cooker. To make this dish in a stovetop pan, follow this recipe with a 1 to 1.5 rice to water ratio and cook covered for 15-18 minutes (or until all the moisture is absorbed).
This pulao can be served with plain yogurt or raita. It also tastes great on its own.
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cool it completely and place it in an air-tight container before storing.
Click here for more one-pot meal recipes.
This Instant Pot chickpea pulao is:
- one pot casserole
- vegan and gluten-free
- great for lunchboxes
- nutritious and filling
Instant Pot Chickpea Pulao
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 2 cans chickpeas (see notes)
- 1 medium potato cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- 3 green cardamom
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- ½ inch ginger grated
- 2-3 cloves garlic grated
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 2½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Wash the rice thoroughly. Soak it in water for 20-30 minutes
- Drain the water from the chickpea and rinse them thoroughly. Set aside
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add oil
- Once it heats, add cumin seeds and whole spices (bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves). Saute for 1 minute
- Add onions and saute until they are translucent (2-3 minutes)
- Add ginger and garlic
- Add turmeric powder, chili powder, and garam masala. Saute for one minute
- Drain the water from the soaked rice
- Add chickpea, rice, potatoes, and salt
- Add 2½ cups of water and give it a good mix
- Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure
- Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice using a fork
- Add lemon juice and cilantro. Mix gently
- Serve with plain yogurt or raita
This dish sounds delicious and so exotic. Healthy too. I will add this to my dinner list.
Rosanna Stevens says
Adored this recipe, thank you so much!
Emily Flint says
I love the step-by-step instructions and I cannot wait to try this. I love to make anything in my Instant Pot!
This dish has so many bold and rich flavors!
This was a dream of a dish. Chickpea Pulao was a realy winner, so many wonderful flavours. We'll definitely have this again.
This smells so amazing from all of the spices cooking! Love the easy to follow recipe!
Kayla DiMaggio says
This chickpea pulao was so easy to make thanks to the instant pot! We loved it!
This sounds very delicious. I love all the flavors you added here, cardamon and cinnamon... yum! I have to make this for dinner tomorrow. Thanks!
GUSTAVO DE OBALDIA says
I really loved this recipe! I like that it is a balanced meal, has the chickpeas' protein, the excellent rice carbs, and all the flavor in!
This chickpea pulao is a great idea for a filling vegan meal. Love all the healthy ingredients you used and how simple it's to prepare. Thanks!
this one pot rice chickpea recipe sounds so delicious!
This chickpea pulao is sooo delicious and such a perfect family dinner. I served with a side of grilled veggies but it's even great on its own. Thanks for the recipe!
This looks so delicious! I love that it's super easy and quick to make - definitely going to be trying this out