Thursday, 13 December 2012

Kala Chana/Black Gram Pulao with Brown rice... Jai Shri Shani Dev

For as far back as I can remember Mom used to make Kala chana/Black gram curry every Saturday for lunch...and of course me being me never really liked it too muchso occasionally she would switch to either Masala Kala Chana or Kala Chana Pulao (both of which I love)as I am writing this I am wondering why she would still make that darned curry?why couldn't she just stop making it altogether ?  hmmmcould it be because there were others to consider as well? could it be because it was easier & faster to make?cause surely she wouldn't do it just because she loved a tantrum throwing me...I could call and ask her but it would be much more fun to get an answer when she reads this...and of course she made this with white basmati rice and of course it tastes better with that...just like maida/flour bread tastes better than atta/whole wheat flour bread!!

Kala Chana Pulao (Black Gram Pulao) with Brown rice


  • Brown rice, washed and soaked overnight, 1 cup (if using white basmati rice just soak in water for about 20-30 mins. Please don't use hot water as it breaks the rice grains)
  • Kala Chana/Black Gram, washed and soaked overnight, boiled with salt added, about ¾ cup (should still have a bite left and not go all soft)
  • Assorted veggies, chopped/grated, about 2 cups, I had mushrooms and grated carrots
  • Onions, Sliced, 2 large
  • Tomato, chopped, 2
  • Ginger paste, ½ tsp
  • Garlic paste, 1 tsp
  • Green Chilies, Slit, 2
  • Green cardamom,2-3
  • Cinnamon, abt an inch
  • Cloves,3-4
  • Black peppercorns, 4-5
  • Bay leaf,1
  • Star anise,1
  • Cumin seeds, ½ tsp
  • Red Chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, 2 cups ( I know double the water is standard but we do it till about 1 ½ cms above the level of rice and veggies, called “ek pota” in Punjabi – feel free to do whatever has been working for you)
  • Oil,1 tbsp


Heat oil in a deep pan. Lower the heat, add the whole spices. After about 8-10 seconds, add the onions. 

Fry till onions start turning light golden brown and add green chilies plus ginger garlic paste. 

Stir and sauté for a couple of minutes and add tomatoes and mushrooms. Mix well, increase the heat to high and keep stirring till the water evaporates from the mushrooms. 

Lower the flame again, add the boiled black gram and spice powders. Stir and mix on low heat for about 10 minutes (add a couple of tablespoons of water if the masala starts sticking to the bottom of the pan). 

Add the drained rice and mix lightly so that the masala coats the rice, add water and increase the flame. 

Once the water comes to boil, reduce the flame to low again, cover and cook till water dries up. 

Once done, take it off heat and let it remain covered  for another 5-10 minutes. 

Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve hot with raita and/or chutney.


  1. Many North Indian houses have Channa on Saturdays. Something to do with Lakshmi?

    1. don't know the details but something to do with Shani Dev (Saturn)