chana biryani
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4.84 from 6 votes

Chana Biryani

Chana biryani is an aromatic, spiced and a delicious dum cooked and layered biryani made with white chickpeas.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: hyderabadi, south indian
Servings: 3 to 4
Author: Dassana Amit


For chana gravy

  • 2 to 3 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Caraway seeds (shah jeera)
  • 2 to 3 Green cardamoms
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 1.5 inch Cinnamon
  • 1 Tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 2 to 3 Cloves
  • 2 Large onions Or 160 grams onions or 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions
  • 1 Large tomato Or 100 grams tomatoes or ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 5 grams Ginger Or 1 inch ginger or ½ tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 5 gram Garlic Or 8-10 medium sized garlic cloves, or ½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2-3 Green chilies, Slit or sliced diagonally
  • ¾ to 1 cup Coconut milk Or 200 to 250 ml coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • 1 cup White chickpeas (chole or chana) or 200 grams chana, soaked overnight in enough water
  • 2.25 cup Water For pressure cooking chana gravy
  • Salt as required

For rice

  • 200 grams Basmati rice Or 1 cup heaped basmati rice
  • 3 cups Water For cooking rice
  • 2 to 3 Green cardamoms
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 1 to 1.5 inch Cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 to 3 Single strands of mace
  • 1 Tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 3 Cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Salt Or add as required

For layering biryani

  • 10 grams Mint leaves Or ½ cup chopped mint leaves
  • 10 grams Coriander leaves Or ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 teaspoon Ginger julienne
  • 1 tablespoon Warm water + 1 pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon Kewra water Or rose water



  • Rinse and then soak 1 cup safed chane or dry white chickpeas (200 grams) in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours. Later strain, rinse the chickpeas and keep aside.
  • Soak 1 cup heaped basmati rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Later strain the rice and keep aside.
  • Heat 3 cups water in a pan or pot. When the water become hot, add the following spices - 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 to 1.5 inch cinnamon, 2 to 3 single strands of mace, 1 tej patta and 3 cloves.
  • Add 1/2 tsp salt or as required.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil on a high flame.
  • Then add the strained rice.
  • Cook the rice grains on the high flame.
  • When the rice grains are 75% cooked or there is a slight bite in them, then switch off the flame.
  • Immediately strain the cooked rice. Keep aside.

making chana gravy for biryani

  • So when the rice grains are getting soaked and cooking, you can prepare the chana gravy.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil and add these spices - 1 tsp shah jeera, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1.5 inch cinnamon/dalchini, 1 tej patta and 2 to 3 cloves/lavang.
  • Saute the spices for a few seconds till they splutter.
  • Then add the 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions. Stir very well.
  • Saute the onions on a low to medium flame.
  • For a quick cooking of the onions, add a pinch of salt.
  • Saute till the onions become golden.
  • Switch off the flame and take half of the fried onions in a plate.
  • Add 1/2 tbsp finely chopped ginger, 1/2 tbsp finely chopped garlic and 2 to 3 green chilies (sliced).
  • Switch on the burner and saute for some seconds till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Then add 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute.
  • Next add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tsp coriander powder.
  • Mix the spice powders very well with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the soaked and drained chana.
  • Mix the chana very well with the rest of the masala.
  • Add 2.25 cups water. season with salt.
  • Pressure cook the chickpeas on a medium to high flame for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • When the pressure falls down on its own, remove the lid and check the chickpeas. They should be cooked well and softened. 
  • Do note that the chickpeas should not have a bite to them. If not cooked well, then pressure cook for a few more whistles. The time taken to cook chickpeas, depends on their quality, so cook accordingly.
  • Then add 3/4 to 1 cup thick coconut milk (200 to 250 ml). Stir and mix very well. Check the salt in the chana gravy and if required add more.
  • When the chickpeas are cooking, warm 1 tbsp water and add a pinch of saffron strands. Stir and keep aside. You can also use milk instead of water.

assembling and making chana biryani

  • Add 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves, 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves and 1 tsp ginger julienne to the chana gravy.
  • Layer with all of the rice.
  • Next top with the fried onions.
  • Then layer with 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves, 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves and 1 tsp ginger julienne.
  • Sprinkle the saffron dissolved water evenly.
  • Now place a moist kitchen towel on the pressure cooker.
  • Place a tight lid. Keep the cooker on a heated tawa/griddle.
  • Dum cook the biryani for 25 to 30 minutes on a low flame. Give a resting time of 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Later serve chole biryani with a raita, salad or biryani shorba.


Tips for making chana biryani:
  • Coconut milk can be substituted with 1 cup fresh curd.
  • Substitute caraway seeds with cumin seeds.
  • Dry fruits like cashews, almonds and raisins can also be added.
  • Ghee can be used instead of oil.