• Sheetal Jandial

Chole (chickpeas) Biryani

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

No, it’s not pulao :)

Chole / Chana biryani is made using methods similar to that of dum biryani… birista (fried onions), adding yoghurt to semi-cooked chole for flavour, semi-cooked rice, layering and finally dum cooking.

To reduce the cooking time, you could fry the onions and make the tadka for chole while cooking chickpeas… a little multitasking goes a long way here.

Or you could simply upcycle leftover chole !

Serves 4

Time taken:

Soaking chickpeas: minimum 4 hours, preferably overnight

Cooking chickpeas: 15-20 minutes + cooling time

Birista / beresta: 10-15 minutes

Cooking rice: 5-7 minutes

Dum: 20 minutes

Ingredients to make Chole (chickpeas) Biryani

For beresta / birista

4 onions – medium size, sliced

Cooking oil for frying

For chole / chickpeas curry

2 cups chickpeas / kabuli chana

1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

5-6 cloves / laung

5-6 black peppercorns / kali mirch

2 inch stick of cinnamon / dalchini

1 black cardamom / badi elaichi

2 tsp black tea leaves, tied in a muslin cloth – for colour

Salt, to taste

Water, as required

Tadka for chole / chickpeas curry

1 tbsp cooking oil / ghee

½ tsp asafoetida / hing

1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera

1 tsp carom seeds / ajwain

3 tomatoes, medium size – finely chopped / pureed

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder / haldi

For biryani rice

1 ½ cups basmati rice / biryani rice

3-4 cloves / laung

1 inch stick of cinnamon / dalchini

1 black cardamom / badi elaichi

2 green cardamoms / choti elaichi

½ tsp turmeric powder / haldi

Salt, to taste

Water, as required

For chole biryani

Semi-cooked chole / chickpeas

½ cup yoghurt

Semi-cooked rice

Beresta / birista

2 tbsp ghee

A handful mint leaves

A few ginger juliennes

Method of making Chole (chickpeas) Biryani

For chole / chickpeas curry

Soak the chickpeas overnight, or for a minimum of 4 hours. If you’re short on time, simply soak the chickpeas in warm (closer to hot) water for 30 minutes to an hour.

In a pressure cooker, add chickpeas, ginger garlic, green chillies, onions, whole spices, salt and tea leaves potli along with approx. 3-4 cups of water to fill the pressure cooker about 2 inches above the chickpeas.

Mix well, bring to a light boil, cover and pressure cook for approx. 15 minutes or 4-5 whistles – to cook the chickpeas about 50%, they should still have a firm bite. We are semi-cooking the chole as these will be cooked for an additional 10 minutes with the tadka and then 15-20 minutes on dum.

Allow this mix to cool completely in the pressure cooker, without manually releasing the steam.

Meanwhile, prepare the tadka – heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds, carom seeds, asafoetida and tomatoes. Cook this mix down till the tomatoes are done, stirring occasionally. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and add the cooled chickpeas mix.

Cook this mix on high heat for a few minutes, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let the chole / chickpeas curry simmer for 8-10 minutes, allowing the flavours to blend.

For beresta / birista

Fry the sliced onions in cooking oil until light brown. Drain and keep aside to cool.

For biryani rice

Bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil. Add rice, whole spices, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and cook the rice till about 80% done – “do kanni” as a reference. Drain and keep aside.

For chole / chana biryani

Stir in yoghurt to the cooked chole / chickpeas curry. Skip this step for a vegan option.

Add a layer of chole to a heavy bottom vessel (with a lid), add most of the birista (keep some aside for garnish) along with the mint leaves. Place the semi-cooked rice as the final layer.

Drizzle 2 tbsp ghee all over the rice. Sprinkle the remaining birista, ginger juliennes and a few mint leaves on the top.

Seal the vessel using dough or by placing a heavy object on the lid. Cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes to heat all the ingredients and generate steam. Then lower the heat and cook for a further 12-15 minutes, until the rice is done.

Serve chole biryani with poppadums and kachumber salad / raita, burhani raita or another condiment of choice. The perfect side with Chole Biryani would be black-eyed bean kebabs.

Do take a look at the other big plates / mains and other traditional Indian food recipes.

Feel free to share WhiskMixStir recipe links / Indian food recipe blog with your family & friends! Remember to give credit where its due :) Pls do not publish my content, recipes and / or photos as your own.

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