Chana Masala Biryani or Chickpeas Biryani or Cholle Biryani, is a combination of two super popular Indian dishes- Chana Masala & Biryani. Chana Masala is an Indian curry which is made with cooking dried garbanzo Beans or ‘Chickpeas’, in a spicy tomato gravy seasoned with warm Indian spices and garnished with cilantro. Biryani, on the other hand, is a dish where rice is cooked with flavored meats or vegetables. In this dish, I have brought the two dishes together in one pot!
I prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO, by making the chana masala gravy first and then cooked fragrant Basmati rice in that gravy- the result is delicious. This one-pot meal can be made even simpler and in 30 minutes by using canned chickpeas, which are already cooked. Simply rinse and drain the chickpeas and add it to the recipe. That reduces the cooking time by almost 15-17 minutes! You can add vegetables like carrots and potatoes along with rice and customize it to your taste. You can even make this Chickpea Biryani with Quinoa. Instead of adding rice, add Quinoa and cook on Manual, High, for 2 minutes with natural pressure release. This recipe is Vegan friendly too!
Biryanis are traditionally served with Raita (Yogurt Dip), but you can have this with a Garden salad drizzled with a simple lemon vinaigrette.
One Pot Chana Masala Biryani / Chickpeas Biryani (Vegan)Print Recipe
- Chana Masala:
- I cup dried Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans (soaked overnight), OR 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon ghee, or olive oil (vegan choice)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2-4 green Serrano chillies (Use de-seeded Jalapeños for a milder flavor)
- 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
- 2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1.25 cups water
- 1 cup Basmati Rice (Long grain)(soaked and rinsed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Fried Onions (I use store bought)
- 1/2 cup cilantro & mint, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon warm-hot water (I pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so)
Prep: Rinse and soak basmati rice while you make chana masala. Slice onions and de-seed green chillies if you prefer mild heat. Chop tomatoes. Finely chop ginger garlic or pulse few times in a mini food processor.
Let's start by making Chana Masala. Heat oil on Saute mode in Instant Pot. Add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add onions and chillies and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes and all spices listed under 'Chana Masala". Stir well and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and water. Stir well and close the lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Bean/Chili mode or Manual for 25 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, adjust cooking time to 6 minutes.
Time to put together Biryani. After manual pressure release (QR), open the lid. Add drained rice. Sprinkle the remaining salt (listed under "Biryani"). Top with chopped cilantro & mint followed by soaked saffron (with liquid) and fried onions. Press down with a spatula gently. Close lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Manual (high) for 6 minutes.
Open lid after natural pressure release. Using a fork, fluff the rice. Enjoy Biryani with a Garden Salad with lemon Vinaigrette for a Vegan option, or, a Cucumber Raita (spicy Cucumber-yogurt) dip.
This Biryani can be made in the traditional stove-top pressure cooker like Hawkins or Prestige too. Follow the procedure to cook Chana Masala on medium-high flame. After 2 whistles, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Manually release the pressure by lifting the pressure weight. Open the lid, follow the steps of layering rice and other ingredients. Close the lid and cook on medium-high heat for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.