Instant Pot Brown Rice Chana Pulao

Brown Rice Chana Pulao made in the Instant Pot! An easy one-pot pulao made with chickpeas, brown rice and spices.

The perfect meal for busy days, also vegan and gluten-free.

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brown rice chana pulao served in a blue bowl, garnished with cilantro and a cut lemon and green chili in the background

I love one pot meals and that’s the reason I love my Instant Pot so much. Cleaning dishes is just not my thing so if there’s a chance to cook everything in one pot, you can be pretty sure that I will do just that.

Pulao (or pilaf) is something that I often make. It’s fragrant with spices and you can basically add any veggies to make it a hearty and complete meal.

This time around I made Chana Pulao made with chickpeas. And for a change I used brown rice in place of white and guess what? It turned out really good!

I really love brown rice with my Asian food and now I make it so much more often, thanks to my perfect brown rice instant pot recipe! Comes out perfect each time.

However, I don’t usually make pulao or biryanis with brown rice. But this time around, I thought of making it more wholesome and so swapped the white rice with brown rice.

It turned out to be a hearty meal which was packed with flavors. I enjoyed it with a side of yogurt but it was really good on it’s own as well.

brown rice chana pulao in a bowl with 2 spoons on the side and a bowl of yogurt with pomegranate arils in the background

This Brown Rice Chana Pulao

✓ is a one-pot meal made in the instant pot

✓ vegan and gluten-free

✓ wholesome and makes a hearty lunch

✓ also great to pack in lunch

As with most pulao, the recipe starts with spices.

I used a whole bunch of whole spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom and cumin seeds. You can skip some of these if you don’t have them.

Or add other spices if you want like black cardamom, whole peppercorns.

Other than the whole spices, the only two spices that I have added to this chana pulao is smoked paprika and garam masala.

Some fresh cilantro and squeeze of lemon juice and this was as good as it can get.

For this chana pulao recipe, I used raw chickpeas which I soaked overnight. I do use canned chickpeas when I am in a hurry but usually I try to use raw beans and chickpeas since that’s what I grew up with.

In India, we didn’t really have a concept of canned food and it’s still not very common.

You can use canned chickpeas if you like, just follow the same recipe as it is and use canned chickpeas in place of soaked. If you plan to use raw chickpeas, make sure to soak them for 4 hours at least.

This recipe works well with jasmine brown rice or basmati brown rice. I am sure it will be okay with short grain as well.

brown rice chana pulao served in a blue bowl, garnished with cilantro and a cut lemon and green chili in the background

Making Chana Pulao on Stove Top Pressure Cooker

Can this recipe be made on a traditional stove top pressure cooker if you don’t have an instant pot or electric one?

Yes, you can easily make this chana pulao in your traditional pressure cooker. Follow the same steps and add around 1.5-2 cups (12-16 oz)  water in place of 1.25 (10 oz) as mentioned in this recipe.

Cook for 2 whistles on high heat and then lower the heat and cook for another 25-30 minutes on low heat.

If you want to make this in a pan on stove top, again follow all the steps as it and add 2 cups water, bring to a boil. Then add the rice, chickpeas, spices, cover with a lid and cook on low-medium heat for around 45 minutes.

Method

Rinse the brown rice and drain the water using a colander. Set it aside. Also make sure your chickpeas are soaked overnight or for 4 hours at least.

1- Press the saute button on the instant pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the whole spices – bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom and cumin seeds.

Saute for few seconds until the spices sizzle.

2- Then add the sliced onion and green chili. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions are soft.

3- Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.

4- Then add the water and deglaze the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula, removing all brown bits from the bottom.

step by step pictures of making brown rice chana pulao in the instant pot

5- Add the rinsed and drained brown rice, soaked chickpeas, smoked paprika, garam masala and salt. Stir to combine, rice should be submerged under water.

6- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.

7- Open the pot and fluff the pulao with a fork.

8- Add chopped cilantro and juice of half lemon.

step by step pictures of making brown rice chana pulao in the instant pot

Serve brown rice chana pulao with yogurt on the side.

a long spoon scooping out chana pulao from a bowl

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Instant Pot Brown Rice Chana Pulao

Brown Rice Chana Pulao made in the Instant Pot! Fragrant rice cooked with spices, chickpeas makes this a wholesome and hearty meal. Vegan and gluten-free.

brown rice chana pulao served in a blue bowl, garnished with cilantro and a cut lemon and green chili in the background
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chana pulao
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 369 kcal
Author: Manali
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoons oil, 22 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 3-4 green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1-2 green chilies, sliced, adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1.25 cups water, 10 oz
  • 1 cup brown rice`, 195 grams, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup raw chickpeas, soaked overnight, or use 1.25 cups canned chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • half lemon, juice of

Instructions

  1. Rinse the brown rice and drain the water using a colander. Set it aside. Also make sure your chickpeas are soaked overnight or for 4 hours at least.

  2. Press the saute button on the instant pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the whole spices - bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom and cumin seeds. Saute for few seconds until the spices sizzle.

  3. Then add the sliced onion and green chili. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions are soft.

  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Then add the water and deglaze the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula, removing all brown bits from the bottom.

  6. Add the rinsed and drained brown rice, soaked chickpeas, smoked paprika, garam masala and salt. Stir to combine, rice should be submerged under water.

  7. Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.

  8. Open the pot and fluff the pulao with a fork. Add chopped cilantro and juice of half lemon.

  9. Serve brown rice chana pulao with yogurt on the side.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you want to use canned chickpeas, use around 1.25 cups to 1.5 cups of canned chickpeas.
  2. You can make this pulao with white rice too, I would probably then just cook for 15 minutes with natural pressure release. 
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Brown Rice Chana Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 369 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Sodium 645mg28%
Potassium 337mg10%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 180IU4%
Vitamin C 5.3mg6%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

6 thoughts on “Instant Pot Brown Rice Chana Pulao

  1. What is ginger garlic paste? Also, do you leave the whole spices in the pot the entire time? (bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves) If so, do you just be careful not to eat them with the meal? I’m looking forward to trying this!

    1. ginger-garlic paste is a paste made by grinding equal parts of ginger and garlic. I should post a recipe sometime but you can easily get it at any Indian grocery store. And if you don’t have it simply grate 1-inch ginger and 4-5 large garlic cloves and use in the recipe. And you can take the whole spices out, I just leave them in the pot and not eat them.

  2. Hello Manali. How are you. I made the brown rice Channa pulav for dinner yesterday and it came out perfect.

    Thanks,
    Shree

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