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Chick Peas Pulao

Chickpeas come in various different varieties. The most popular of them all is the large white variety also known as Bengali Channa. High in protein chickpeas can be made in several different ways. This is a simple pulao and makes an excellent accompaniment with many of India’s great dishes. Courtesy of Cyrus Todiwala.

  • Medium




  • 500g Tilda Pure Basmati Rice
  • 450g Chickpeas
  • 2 Medium Sized Onions (halved & thinly sliced)
  • 5-6 Garlic Cloves
  • 1-2 one-inch piece Cinnamon Bark
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 1-2 Large Whole Red Chilli
  • Water (twice the amount of rice)
  • 2 Tsp Salt (level)
  • Browned Onions (to garnish). To make brown onions you have to slice them very thinly semi-deep fry them until golden.
  • 3 Tbsp Sunflower Oil


  1. If using raw chickpeas, please soak them in adequate water in a deep bowl or pan over night or a minimum of six hours at least. The longer they are soaked the more they will swell and cook faster. However prolonged soaking will ferment and thereby spoil the chickpeas. Boil them in the same water adding more if required with a little salt until tender. Set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in a deep pot or pan, which has a tight fitting lid.

  3. When the oil forms a haze add the cinnamon bark, cloves & red chilli. As soon as you see the cloves swell add the cumin and sauté for a minute or so.

  4. Add the garlic & a half-minute later the onions and sauté until the garlic is almost on the point of browning.

  5. Now lower the heat & add the rice, the salt and stir for a minute or two, turning well and levelling out each time so that the rice gets an all round heat.

  6. Add water or stock up to maybe 3/4th of an inch or 2cms above the height of the rice. This is if you feel you are comfortable not using one and half times.

  7. This is simpler and works very well.

  8. Stir for a few seconds and allow to rest covered.

  9. Put the heat to a minimum.

  10. Stir again every minute or so until most of the water is absorbed and you can detect water along the sides but not in plentiful.

  11. Add either canned chickpeas drained or boiled chickpeas also drained. You may like to use the water along with the water when first adding to the rice. This will add a lot more flavour but it only discolours the pulao.

  12. After each stir cover the pot but ensure that all the sides are clean of grains when you are about to cover.

  13. Check every one or two minutes, give the rice a gentle stir from the bottom up but very gently.

  14. Check your seasoning and whether or not the rice is cooked. Approximately 30-40 minutes on a slow fire is often adequate.

  15. When serving, top with browned onions and sprinkle some freshly chopped coriander.