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Protein Pulao | Kala Chana (Black Chickpea) Pulao.

Kala Chana (black chickpea) Pulao, is a protein-rich one-pot meal. Kala chana, also known as black chickpea is a very good source of vegetarian protein and if you are a vegetarian, you should try to add this legume to your diet.

This protein pulao makes a complete meal by itself. The Carbohydrates from rice and the protein from chickpeas together add a great nutritional value to the meal. And the addition of spices brings flavor to this dish and makes it delectable.

Black Chickpea Pulao

Health benefits of black chickpea are as follows:

  1. Aids in weight loss.
  2. Lowers cholesterol.
  3. Stabilizes blood sugar and low glycemic index.
  4. Helps in the prevention of diabetes.
  5. Great source of iron.
  6. Good source of protein for vegetarians.

Black chickpeas are rich in folates, protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, copper, iron and phosphorus and free from sodium and cholesterol.

Promotes hair growth and combats hair loss:

Black chickpeas contain vitamin B6 and zinc and these minerals play an important role in building up the protein in hair which strengthens your hair follicle and promotes hair growth. And the combination of vitamin A and zinc plays an important role in hair health and the deficiency of any one of these can cause hair loss.

This is easy to make and I find this hearty meal of carbohydrates and protein to be very comforting.

Total Time: 40 Mins | Serves: 4-6 | Cuisine: Indian

Recipe of protein pulao


  1. 1 and 1/2 cups of Basmati Rice (rinsed and soaked).
  2. 3/4th cups of black chickpea (Kala Chana) ( rinsed and soaked overnight).
  3. 2 tbsp oil.
  4. 2 cloves.
  5. 1-inch cinnamon.
  6. 2 cardamoms.
  7. 1 bay leaf.
  8. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
  9. 1 large onion ( sliced ).
  10. 3 green chilies ( slit ).
  11. 2 tsp ginger garlic paste.
  12. 1/8 tsp turmeric.
  13. 1/2 tsp chili powder.
  14. salt to taste.
  15. 1 medium tomato ( chopped ).
  16. 1 tsp biryani masala powder or 1 tsp garam masala powder.
  17. 1/3rd cup of coriander chopped.
  18. a few mint leaves chopped.
  19. 1/4th cup of curd.
  20. 3 cups of water.


  1. Wash and soak the chickpeas in plenty of water for 7-8 hours or overnight.
  2. Prep all the ingredients needed like slicing the onion, dicing the tomatoes and keeping all the spices handy.
  3. Wash and soak the Basmati rice for 20 minutes, do not soak more than 20 minutes. If you did soak it more than 20 minutes then adjust and reduce the water while cooking to avoid mushy pulao.
  4. In a pressure cooker, add 2 tbsp of oil and once it is hot add bay leaf, 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms and an inch of cinnamon.
  5. Now add 1/2 tsp jeera or cumin seeds and stir fry until the spices start to sizzle.
  6. Add the sliced onions and saute until onion turns translucent.
  7. Then add ginger garlic paste, fry the ginger garlic paste until the raw smell goes off.
  8. Now add a pinch of turmeric, 1/2 tsp chili powder, salt to taste.
  9. Then add 1 medium tomato, chopped.
  10. Add 1 tsp biryani masala powder or garam masala if you don’t have biryani masala powder.
  11. Add 1/3 cup of coriander, a few leaves of mint chopped and 3 green chilies slit.
  12. Then add 1/4 cup of curd/yogurt. Cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.
  13. Now add soaked chickpeas and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
  14. Then release pressure after 5 minutes of pressure cooking and add another cup of water and bring it to a rolling boil.
  15. As the water starts to boil, add soaked basmati rice and mix everything well.
  16. Cook for a minute on high flame and let the water reduce.
  17. After the water reduces close the lid on the pressure cooker.

Pressure cooking instructions:

  1. Cook on high for 1 minute.
  2. medium for 2-3 minutes.
  3. lowest for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Then let the pressure cool off by itself for about 10-12 mins. Then open the lid to a perfectly cooked Pulao.
  5. Fluff up the rice and the pulao is ready to be served.
Kala chana pulao
Protein pulao

Serve this pulao with a raita of your choice.

You can make this for lunch or dinner, or even pack it up in your child’s lunchbox.

Note: This is a mildly flavored pulao if you want it to be nicely flavored then reduce the quantity of black chickpeas, basmati rice and adjust water accordingly.

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