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Chole Pulao - Chickpea Rice

Most of the days we don't have time for cooking an elaborate meal, specially with work, kids and now with the lockdown and online home learning for kids along with other errands in the house, its quite difficult to actually plan for an elaborate lunch. One pot meals are the best option I feel even when you are too lazy to cook. I remember my mother would cook all kinds of pulao, masala rice for us and though we loved them. 
Today's one pot meal is Chickpea rice or chole pulao which is a delicious protein-rich rice dish perfect for Meatless meals. It does need a little bit of prep and planning though, where you have to soak the chickpeas/ chole at least for 7 hrs or overnight for it to get cooked perfectly.
Chickpeas take time to get cooked so it’s best if you soak them and use a pressure cooker to cook it.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, use a normal pot, then the cooking time will increase. It will take around an hour to cook chickpeas and after that around 20 minutes to cook the rice if using a normal pot. The remaining process remains the same. Lets see how this easy one-pot, protein-rich option can be made to pull you through one more day during yet another busy lockdown week.

Cook Time 40 minutes
Chickpea soaking time 8 hours

Servings 4 people

  • 1 cup dry chickpeas, soaked for 8 hrs at least or overnight. 
  • 1.5 cups basmati rice washed and soaked (15 mins)
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (2-3 pods)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 3 green chilies finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves - For garnish and cooking 
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoon Chole masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp amchur powder/ Dry mango powder 
  • 1 tsp Kasuri methi/ Dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil/ any cooking oil of your choice
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp for garnish (Optional)
  1. Wash and soak chickpeas for 7-8 hours or overnight.
  2. Cook the chickpeas or chole in pressure cooker with 2 tsp salt for about 4 whistles.
  3. While the chole is getting cooked, you can prep things for the masala. 
  4. Wash and soak the rice for 15 mins atleast
  5. Once the chole/ chickpeas are done, drain and keep aside. It should be about 90% cooked. Make sure to retain the water it is cooked in for later use. (See Notes) 
  6. In the same cooker, heat oil and add all the whole spices. Saute for a few seconds.
  7. Once the spices turn fragrant, add in the chopped onions and saute till they start turning golden brown.
  8. Add in the ginger, garlic and green chilies. Mix well and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, and all the spice powder, excluding Kasuri methi. 
  10. Cook till tomatoes get nicely cooked and are mushy. 
  11. Once the tomatoes are done, add in the boiled chickpeas along with soaked basmati rice. 
  12. Add total of 3 cups of hot water. I use the cooked chickpea water and remaining normal hot water. Ratio for water  is 1:2. Use the same cup used to measure the rice. 
  13. Mix everything well, and add gently hand crushed kasuri methi, half coriander leaves in to it. Put on the lid and cook till 2 whistles on medium flame. 
  14. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, use a normal pot and cook till the chickpeas are 90% done. It will take around an hour to cook the chickpeas if you are using a normal pot. Remaining method will be same. 
  15. Garnish with remaining chopped coriander leaves and add warm ghee just before serving.
  16. Serve hot with salad or raita and pappad
  • For cooking this Pulao in pressure cooker, the chole needs atleast 8-12 hours of soaking 
  •  If you forget to soak overnight, you can soak in hot water for about 4 hours along with a pinch of baking soda. That will help the chole get cooked completely 
  • Ghee gives absolute taste to the pulao. I add in ghee at the end and close the cooker lid until serving. You can also use ghee for making this pulao instead of oil. 
  • Grinding Green Chili, Ginger, Garlic, helps to blend the flavor nicely with the rice. But if we do not have time, We can also add these without grinding
  • We can garnish with browned onions before serving
  • Adjust the spices according to your spice level
  • You can add any veggies to it for making it more nourishing. 
  • If you do not have kasuri methi, you can avoid it. Add Chole masala little more. 
  • If you do not have or not using chole masala with you, just add turmeric, chilli and coriander powder 1 tsp more than mentioned. 
Hope you will enjoy coking this easy rice dish. Leave me a comment if you do and let me know how it turned out for you. 

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