Kabuli Chana Biriyani / White Chickpea Biriyani

White chana biriyani



Ingredients (Serves 3)


To pressure-cook

1. Kabuli chana / chole – 3/4 – 1 cup, soaked for 8 – 10 hrs

2. Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

    Whole spices – cardamom – 1 – 2, Cinnamon stick – 1 inch, cloves – 3 – 4, bay leaf – 1 (optional)

    Salt – To taste

    Ghee – 1 tsp

3. Water – As required

For the chole masala

4. Whole spices – Cardamom – 2, cloves – 5, cinnamon sticks – 2 small, bay leaves – 2

5. Onion – 1 medium, thinly sliced and halved

6. Ginger – 1/2 inch, roughly chopped

   Garlic – 5 large cloves, roughly chopped

   Green chilies – 5 small

7. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

    Chilly powder – 3/4 tsp

    Coriander powder – 1 tsp

    Garam masala powder or meat masala powder – 1.5 tsp

8. Tomato – 1 large, chopped

9. Thick coconut milk – 1/4 cup, optional

10. Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped

     Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped

11. Salt – To taste

12. Oil – 1.5 – 2 tbsp

Other ingredients

To prepare Rice

13. Basmathi rice – 2 cups

     Whole spices – Cardamom – 2, cloves – 4, cinnamon stick – 2 pieces

     Salt – To taste

     Ghee – 2 tsp

To Garnish

14. Onion – 1/2 medium, thinly sliced and fried in oil/ghee till brown

     Cashews and raisins – 2 – 3 tbsp each, fried

     Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped

     Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped


To prepare rice

To cook rice you can follow the draining method or make ghee rice. Click here for the ghee rice recipe. Draining method – Soak the basmati rice for around 30 mts. Boil lots of water in a deep vessel. To the boiling water add ghee, whole spices and enough salt. The water should be slightly salty. Now add the soaked rice and cook it to the perfect consistency. It will take around 15 – 20 mts at medium heat. Drain the water and allow the rice to cool.

To prepare chana masala

1. Pressure-cook white chana adding ingredients numbered 2 and enough water. Open the pressure-cooker and drain the excess liquid. Reserve it to use later.

2. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilies to a coarse mixture and set aside.

3. Heat 1.5 – 2 tbsp oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the whole spices and stir for a few seconds until fragrant. Next add the sliced onion and saute until it turns transparent. Add in the ground ginger-garlic-green chilly mixture and saute everything until onion turns light brown. Add in the spice powders numbered 7 and saute for a few seconds until their raw smell is gone (sprinkle little water to prevent them from burning). Add  chopped tomatoes and saute until it gets mashed up and oil separates. Add the pressure-cooked chana, 1/4 cup thick coconut milk and 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid. Mix everything well and cook for a few minutes until the gravy reaches a thick consistency. Add in 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves and cilantro. Mix well. Switch off.



For layering you need a cookware which can be put on stove or which is oven-safe.

Smear the base of the cookware with ghee. Then sprinkle fried onions, cashews, raisins, chopped mint leaves and cilantro. Arrange the chana masala and cooked rice in two or three layers. You can sprinkle some fennel powder or biriyani masala and ghee on each layer. The topmost layer should be that of rice with the items under garnish. Now seal the cookware with an aluminium foil (so that moisture won’t escape), cover with its lid and bake it at 350 F for around 20 – 25 mts (depending on the cookware you use). If you are using stovetop, keep it at low flame for around 10-15 mts. Serve hot with  raita, pappad, biriyani chammanthi, and lemon pickle.


White chana biriyani


  1. wow..they look so good & delicious!!

  2. Beautiful briyani,inviting.

  3. what lovely and yummy biryani:)
    Love the pictures!!

  4. this looks really delicious! can i try the same recipe with soya chunks?? Can you please post recipes using soya chunks in future?

  5. Very yummy recipe dear…

  6. Smitha,

    I have a few soy chunk recipes in my drafts, will surely post them soon. I make soy chunk biriyani in a difft way, will post the recipe sometime..

  7. you know, i have seen this dish on a few restaurant menus, but never actually tried it. The logic being when I have the option of chicken why would I opt for Chole :D But this picture you have put up looks so inviting that I am tempted to give it a shot…

  8. Hi Maya… This recipe made me venture back to my kitchen after a gap of 1 year. And it turned out quite well! Thanx.

  9. Hi maya,
    i made this yesterday for my hubbys bday…we loved it
    thanks for the lovely recipes

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