chana dal pulao

Chana Dal Pulao

It’s lockdown day 5738821 and peak summers isn’t helping. With all of us being homebound and going on with our worklives from home, we are also facing an increasing burden of domestic work. I have been getting a lot of messages on my Instagram lately where you all are asking me to add more easy recipes that do not take much time, are delicious and can be made in large batches. So here I am adding another personal recipe from my own kitchen that has saved me a lot of time, especially in this lockdown.

This chana dal pulao is extremely flavourful and delicious and will fill you up. I usually make a large batch that easily goes for two meals (we are three people). Having food ready in the fridge for the next meal is a different kind of relaxation, right? I completely understand the hassle of cooking everyday and sometimes we just don’t feel like going through that ordeal again. And peak summers does not really help in any case. So here is a one pot rice recipe that you will defintely love if you are also someone looking for easy meal options for yourself and those you live with.

chana dal pulao

While this recipe is easy, it does require some preparation in advance. Here’s what you need to keep ready before you start making the pulao.

  • Soak the rice – This step is very crucial to get rice that is fluffy and light. Wash the rice thoroughly under running water at least 5-6 times till the water that drains out is crystal clear. This step is very important as it helps to ensure that all the excess starch is removed so that you get rice that is fluffy and also not too heavy. Pro tip – Do not waste the starchy water. It is full of nutrients. Use it to water your plants. Once your rice is washed, soak the rice in clean water for 30 minutes to one hour. Till step will ensure that the rice fluff up to its maximum potential.
  • Boil your chana dal – To reduce the cook time of the pulao, we will have to keep the chana dal or split chickpeas ready. Wash the chana dal and soak them in water for 2 hours. Once they are soft, boil them in a pressure cooker for five to six whistles till they are soft (and not mushy).

chana dal pulao

Here’s the recipe.


  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2/3 cup fresh tomato puree
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/3 cup whisked curd
  • 1 tsp garam masala 


  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Wash the chana dal and soak them in water for 2 hours. Once they are soft, boil them in a pressure cooker for five to six whistles till they are soft.
  3. Make a paste of the ginger, garlic and coriander with about three tablespoons of water.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet or pot. Temper with cardamom, cloves and cinnnamon.
  5. Add the finely chopped onions and saute till they turn translucent and golden brown.
  6. Pour the ginger, garlic and coriander paste and cook on medium flame till you see the oil release from the sides.
  7. Add the fresh tomato puree and mix well. Cover and cook for a few minutes till rawness disappears and oil splits from the masala.
  8. Uncover the skillet and give it all a good mix. Season with Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
  9. Add the boiled chickpeas and mix well till it gets coated well with the masala. Add two cups of hot water. Cover and let it cook till the dal comes to a luscious gravy.
  10. Add the soaked rice and gently mix everything together. Add two more cups of hot water and some garam masala. Mix and cover and cook for 30 minutes on the lowest flame possible.
  11. Check the rice after 30 minutes. Turn off the gas and let it rest undisturbed for another 15 minutes.
  12. Garnish with fried onions and fresh coriander.
  13. Serve hot with some raita and salad. 

chana dal pulao

chana dal pulao

I hope you try this chana dal pulao super soon! If you have any doubts, comments, or feedback, please reach out to me in comments or my social media handles.

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Happy cooking!


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