Mamta's Kitchen

Chickpea Biryani Rice (Pilaf)

Chana Biryani

Mamta Gupta


This is a complete meal in itself. It is not very highly spiced, it is gently fragrant. Quantities are approximate. You can make it from left over chickpea curry. Just add a little more salt and garam masala to the curry and cook rice with the curry, mixed together. Serves 6


  • 2 cups Basmati or any other long grain rice

  • A can of chick peas or a large cup of boiled chick peas (amount is personal choice)

  • 3/1/2 cups water

  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced

  • 1 tomato. chopped

  • 2 tbsp. oil

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 2 bay leaves*

  • 2-3 cloves*

  • 2 large black cardamoms*

  • 6-7 black peppers*

  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon*

  • *If you do not have these whole spices, which make garam masala, you can use 1 tsp. of ground garam masala instead

  • 8-10 strands of saffron

  • Salt to taste

  • For garnish:

  • 10 ready salted cashew nuts or you can roast your own. (optional)

  • 2 onions, sliced


  1. Measure all ingredients and keep aside.

  2. Heat oil, add onions and fry until golden brown. Add cumin seeds and all the whole spices* and wait until cumin seeds splutter.

  3. Add tomatoes and boiled chickpeas, stir fry for 5 minute.

  4. Add rice, stir well to coat the rice with the mix.

  5. Add 3 1/2 cup of water, bring to boil.

  6. Turn the heat down and cook covered until all water is absorbed and rice is cooked. This takes about 10 minutes.

  7. Do not keep opening the lid to have a peep! Glass lid pans are better for this reason.

  8. Serve hot, garnished with deep fried onions and cashew nuts. Also serve roasted/grilled papads (papodoms), fresh natural yoghurt and pickles of choice. My favourite with this dish is sweet mango pickle and natural yoghurt.


  • BBQ Biryani: Cook rice as per your recipe. Make small parcels, one parcel per person, wrapped in aluminium foil. Place them on BBQ for a few minutes to heat. Serve straight from the BBQ.

  • Also see BBQ Selection and Marinade Selection.

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