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chana pulao served in a red bowl placed on a cutting board

Chana Pulao Recipe (Instant Pot + Stove Top Methods)

Chana Pulao aka Chickpea Rice is a quick dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes. Serve it with this Raita and Seekh Kabab, and you’re set for a wonderful meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani, Pakistani/Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 316kcal


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 15 ounce chickpea can drained
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice soaked in water for 15-20 minutes (no soaking required if making it in the Instant Pot)
  • 3 cups water (for Instant Pot method you'll need less water: about 2 cups)


Stove Top Method

  • Heat oil in a pot, and add the onions. Cook the onion until its golden brown. Once the onion is golden brown, add a splash of water and quickly cover the pot with a lid. This way the onion release its colour and gives a beautiful golden brown colour to the overall pulao.
  • Then add the chickpeas and salt (drained and cook for 4-5 minutes while continuously stirring. Now add the water and cover the pot with a lid. Bring to a boil. Add the rice (drain the water in which it was soaking, and continue cooking until most of the water has evaporated and the rice has almost cooked through. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot with a lid, and let the rice cook in the steam for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork. Serve with raita or kabab.

Instant Pot Method

  • Turn on saute mode in the Instant Pot, and add oil. Let it heat, and then add the chopped onion. Cook for a 2-3 minutes until slightly golden brown.
  • Now add the drained chickpeas and salt. Cook for another minute.
  • Add the rice and stir. Now add in about 2 cups of water. To make perfect rice in the instant pot, make sure the water level is only about 1 inch above the rice. Not more, not less.
  • Cancel saute mode. Put on the instant pot lid, and make sure the pressure valve is pointing towards sealing.
  • Choose Manual mode and select 5 minutes.
  • After pressure cooking is done, wait for 1 minute (natural release), and then turn the valve towards venting.
  • Fluff the rice gently, and transfer immediately to a serving dish.



Note for Instant Pot Method and Tips on Making Perfect Rice in It:
  • To make perfect rice in the instant pot, the key is to make sure the amount of water is correct. Too much water will make the rice mushy. My trick to making perfect rice in the instant pot is to make sure the water level is only 1 inch above the rice. If you dip your index finger into the water, it should only reach up an inch. 
  • I don't soak rice when making it in the Instant Pot, because it can become mushy. 
  • Once the pressure cooking is done, release the pressure after about 1 minute. If you leave the rice in the Instant Pot for too long, it will become too soft and mushy. 
  • I transfer the cooked rice from the Instant Pot to a serving dish immediately, as keeping it in the warm pot will again make it too mushy. To avoid breaking the rice, I don't really fluff it in the pot, instead I gently scoop it out to the serving dish, and then gently fluff it. 


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 14IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg