Chana Biriyani / White ChickPeas Biriyani / Vella Kadala Biriyani

                For Muslim Food Bloggers group challenge, this month’s theme is “ Biriyani“. As we all know, Biriyani is one of the most popular and delicious rice dish. Even though meat based biriyanis are more common, I have chosen a vegetarian based biriyani using white chickpeas…For this biriyani, rice and masala are cooked separately and then layered and cooked on low flame (Dum).


For Chana Masala:

3/4 cup chana/ white chickpeas/ vella kadala
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 piece ginger
8 garlic cloves
5-6 green chillies
1 large tomato, chopped
3/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
4 cardamoms
6 cloves
3 small cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

For Rice:

2 cups basmati rice
3- 3 1/2 cups water
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cardamoms
4 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp ghee

For Garnishing:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced and fried
2 tbsp fried cashew nuts
2 tbsp fried raisins
few chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves


For Preparing Chana Masala:

  1. Soak the chickpeas/ chana in water for 8 hours. Wash and pressure cook it with a pinch of turmeric powder, 1″piece cinnamon, 1 cardamom and 2 cloves adding enough water and salt.
  2. Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and drain the water and reserve it to use while preparing masala.
  3. Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies together to a coarse paste and keep it aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan and add 3 cardamoms, 6 cloves, 2 piece cinnamon and 2 bay leaves and saute until nice aroma comes out.
  5. Add sliced onion and saute until it turns transparent.
  6. Add ginger-garlic-green chillies paste and saute well until onion turns light brown.
  7. Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and 1 1/2 tsp garam masala and saute for few seconds until the raw smell disappears. Sprinkle little water, if required to prevent them from burning.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy and oil separates.
  9. Add the cooked chickpeas, coconut milk and 1/2 cup reserved water in which chickpeas is cooked and mix well.
  10. Cook for few minutes until the gravy thickens. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and mix well.
  11. Check for salt and add if required and switch off the flame.

For Preparing Rice:

  1. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Wash and drain the rice and keep it aside.
  2. Boil the water and keep it aside.
  3. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed panadd cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and sliced onion and saute till transparent.
  4. Add drained rice and saute for 4-5 minutes on medium flame. Add boiling water and salt, cover and cook on low flame till rice is done.

For Layering:

  1. Fry 1 sliced onion, cashew nuts and raisins in oil/ ghee till brown and keep it aside
  2. Take a wide thick bottomed pan and rub it with little ghee and sprinkle little fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins and chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  3. Spread a layer of cooked rice and then add half of the prepared chana masala.
  4. Now add another layer of rice over masala, followed by the chana masala.
  5. Add the remaining rice as a top layer and sprinkle remaining fried onions, raisins, cashew nuts, 1/2 tsp garam masala and chopped coriander leaves on top.
  6. Cover the pan with an aluminium foil and close with a tight lid and cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Switch off the flame and serve hot with raita , pappadum and pickle…



  1. Thank you for moving off the trodden paths and cooking up a vegeterian biriyani! I love chickpeas biriyani, have made it so many times but haven't made it recently… I have to make it soon, I suppose… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *