30 Minute



Quick, Easy, Protein-Rich – Chickpea Pulao

Quick, Easy, Protein-Rich – Chickpea Pulao

Here is the recipe of one of our go-to dinner idea – Chickpea Pulao – because it is a quick, easy, Protein-Rich, Healthy, and Tasty Recipe. You can even make it for a quick lunch. It is perfect for the days when you are busy or don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.

When I first made it for Jatin, he just loved it and he keeps asking for this recipe every now and then. That is why, whenever I make chhole at home, I always cook little extra chickpeas so that I can make chickpea pulao too. Sometimes, I even keep the cans of chickpeas in my refrigerator because then I can make it anytime. When I feel tired or we are having a busy and hectic workday, we simply make it for dinner. It gets ready in 20 minutes. What a treat 😀

You must check out our collection of delicious rice recipes.

Story Time

My mom used to make this pulao a lot. It was an easy and quick recipe for our school lunch box. All four of us (my three siblings and I) loved taking rice recipes in school. It was easy to eat and if we had some leftovers, we could easily eat on our bus while going back home. I remember, my classmates also loved this chickpea pulao a lot. When we used to have our potluck party in our class (Yes. We used to do that even when we were kids.), my friends always wanted me to bring extra chickpea pulao. My mom used to make it in an iron pan and that makes it different in taste and color. Yummy.

After 20 years 😀 I made it for my husband, Jatin. Without a doubt, it became an instant hit. Now whenever I am unsure about what to cook for lunch or dinner, he simply tells me to make this recipe. There is minimal chopping involved and you end up eating something very delicious and healthy too. So, you also give it a try and let me know how it turned out in your home.

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Easy Swaps

  1. Chickpea: Instead of chickpea, you can use Kala chana. You just need to pre-soak them and them directly with rice and cook them together.
  2. Vegetables: Veggies like carrots and beans are optional. You can skip them. You can even add any other veggie of your choice like peas, or bell peppers. Or you can simply skip them. It tastes good even with just chickpeas and potato.

How to cook chickpeas?

Chickpeas take a long time to cook. For this recipe, follow the below instructions to cook them:

  1. Soak them in water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the water and wash them well.
  3. You can cook it either in the pressure cooker or in a pan. For the pressure cooker, add them with some water (around 1 cup) and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. They will be later cooked with the rice. We just need to soften them a little because while cooking it with rice, it doesn’t cook that well. That is why use either the partially cooked chickpeas or the canned ones. To cook them in a pan, add some water and let it cook for around 15 minutes. That will be enough.

If you are making chickpea curry, then you need to cook it for a long time (30 to 40 minutes).

Is this recipe Vegan?

Yes. This chickpea pulao recipe is totally plant-based and vegan.

Can we make this Pulao in the pressure cooker?

Yes. Of course. You can make it in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot too. I prefer to make pulao in a pan because that way my pulao doesn’t get sticky and mushy.

To make it in the pressure cooker, you don’t need cooked chickpeas. Chickpeas and rice can be cooked together. You will also need lesser water to cook (around 1.5 Cups). Cook for a whistle only and it will be done. Let it depressurize itself.

More Rice Recipes

  1. Spinach Khichdi
  2. Punjabi Wadi Pulao
  3. Chana Dal Pulao

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this Indian vegetarian/vegan meal at home. It is perfect for lunch or dinner. If you try this recipe & like it too, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us @marriedfriends. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Quick, Easy, Protein-Rich – Chickpea Pulao

Quick. Easy. Healthy.

This recipe is proof that even the simplest of things can be extremely wonderful. I would suggest you do not miss this one. Definitely give it a try. You will thank me later :)

Do try this chickpea pulao - quick, easy, and delicious. 



10 min

Prep Time

30 min

Cook Time

40 min

Total Time



  1. Heat some oil in a pan. Once the oil is heated, add all the whole spices - bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, black cardamom, and black pepper. Stir for a few seconds till they become aromatic. 
  2. Add cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds till they sizzle and become darker. 
  3. Add onion, garlic, and green chili. Saute till onions are translucent. Do not brown the onions else the pulao will be darker in color. 
  4. Once the onions are done, add potato, carrot, beans, cooked chickpeas, rice, and salt. Mix and combine everything well. 
  5. Add water & let it come to a boil on high flame. Once it starts to boil, lower the flame, cover the pan and let it cook. Cook till water is absorbed and the rice is well cooked. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes. 
  6. When it is perfectly cooked, remove it from the flame. Garnish with coriander leaves and fluff it using a fork. Serve hot with some pickles or raw onion slices. 
  7. Top it up with some vegan butter or ghee while serving.


What is chana dal in english?

Chana Dal is Bengal Gram in English. It is related to the chickpea family. Some even call it chickpea but it is not a chickpea. Both are different. Chana dal is yellow in color with one side rounded and another side flat. It takes a little extra time to cook hence try and soak it for 6 to 8 hours, if not overnight.

Which material is best for lunch box?

These days Tupperware or air-tight plastic lunch boxes are quite popular. But they are not good for health. Stainless steel or glass lunch boxes are good and leakproof. These days you can even get good quality and beautiful bamboo lunch boxes.

What is the difference between pulao and biryani?

There are a lot of differences between a pulao and a biryani. While pulao is a simple rice recipe with some chopped veggies and some spices, biryani needs a lot of time, patience, and preparation. In Pulao, veggies are simply chopped and added while in biryani, veggies are marinated with a lot of different spices and curd. Biryani needs a lot of different spices – ground and whole – which gives it a spicy and unique flavor. Everything is slow-cooked for hours to develop that unique aroma and flavor. In biryani, rice is partially cooked first with some spices and drained. Then it is layered with the cooked veggies and topped with some milk, rose water, fried onion, and coriander. While in Pulao, after tempering and sauteing veggies, rice is added and everything is cooked with some water.

What is Pulao?

Pulao is a one-pot recipe generally made with rice, spices, and vegetables. But you can substitute rice with some dalia, quinoa, or millets. You can try with different vegetables and spices and with each variation you get a new recipe. It is comfort food. It is quick and easy to make. It is perfect for lunch or dinner.

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