This brown rice chickpea biryani is just what your body wants, and it’s as simple and easy as it is delicious. It’s made with nutritious chickpeas and brown rice.


Today, I’m going to share one of the most well-known and delectable recipes for foodies ¾ this chickpea biryani. Full of flavor and aroma!

People from the subcontinent adore biryani and prepare it in a variety of ways. Although biryani is typically made with meat, the variant made with chickpeas is also very popular. Renowned in the locality as chana biryani or chole chawal!

Here, I’m going to share a quick and simple recipe for this delicious chana biryani, which you can make at home by simply following a few simple instructions. There is a unique flavor and scent to this chana biryani. To bring flavor to your table, I request you to adhere to this recipe.

This dish is a flavorful and nourishing vegan option that is perfect for a weeknight meal or for entertaining guests. It combines nutty brown rice with protein-rich chickpeas and a medley of spices to create a savory and satisfying dish.

Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and is sure to impress. So let’s get started on this delicious and healthy brown rice chickpea biryani! Also see, Vegan Biryani and Vegetable Biryani

You can scroll down to the recipe card to read how to make brown rice chickpea biryani, but I suggest don’t skip reading the important information included in the blurb.

Close up chickpea biryani

Difference Between Biryani And Pulao?

What differentiates biryani and pulao is a question I am frequently asked. Now, you can find various reasons, including on this site, but these are the key differences in my opinion:

  1. Layering: Rice, meat, and veggies are layered in a biryani. The two are frequently made separately and subsequently layered. Then they are cooked over a low flame (dum or slow cooking) to let the flavors blend. To make pulao, the meat or vegetables and rice are mixed and cooked at the same time; there is no layering required.
  2. Marination: Before adding meat to a biryani, it is often marinated. This makes for meat that is soft and well-cooked. I like to add vegan yogurt to vegan dishes that include beans and veggies in order to get improved flavors. This also makes the biryani more moist and saucy. Marination is not necessary for pulao.
  3. Spices and herbs: More whole and ground spices are frequently used in biryani. Spices are added during the marinating process and when the meat/vegetables are cooked with the rice. Coriander and mint are often added between the layers of biryani to make it taste better. Pulao is a basic dish that uses a few spices and herbs.
  4. Fried Onion: Okay, so fried onions might not be necessary for a genuine biryani. But I love the taste of the fried onions in biryani, which is what makes it different from plain pulao. If you don’t want to use fried onions, you can brown them before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Why You’ll Love This Chickpea Brown Rice biryani Recipe?

  • It is so delicious and compelling: Once you make this meal, you’ll want to keep preparing it. Almost everyone, especially children, will adore it because of all the flavors and textures it has. It is really delectable.
  • It is nutritious! Chickpeas, vegetables, and brown rice are the main healthy ingredients in this dish. What’s to dislike?
  • It’s simple. If you already have cooked rice on hand (any kind will do; check the Frequently Asked Questions section for more details), you can prepare this dish in no time. Even cauliflower rice can be used to convert this dish to a low-carb one.
  • It is suitable for all diets. The biryani is already gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and free of nuts.

Ingredients for chickpea biryani

Ingredients Require

  • Brown rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Red onions
  • Tomato
  • Green chilies
  • Garlic
  • Mint leaves
  • Spices: Salt, Red chili flakes, Turmeric powder, All spice powder, Coriander powder, Cumin seeds, Cloves, Green cardamom, Bay leaf, Star anise, Cinnamon stick, 
  • Avocado oil

How To Make Brown Rice Chickpea Biryani?

  1. Wash and boil brown rice in salted water, for about 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, heat oil and add in cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf.
  3. Fry until fragrant, and add garlic.
  4. When garlic turns golden, add in sliced onions and fry.
  5. Fry until golden brown, and reserve some fried onions for later.
  6. Add in sliced tomatoes and green chilies and fry.
  7. Add in all the spices and chickpeas.
  8. Stir fry for a minute or two and add coconut yogurt.
  9. Let the chickpea gravy simmer for a few minutes.
  10. Top it off with mint leaves, green chili, some reserved fried onions, and boiled brown rice.
  11. Keep the rice on the stove for 25-30 minutes on low flame or until done.

Serving Suggestion

Serve with some coconut yogurt and fresh salad!! This biryani is also delicious and served with Tzatziki Sauce or cucumber dip. The earthy aromas of the spices are nicely contrasted and balanced by the chilled yogurt and crunchy cucumber.

Storage Suggestions

  • Refrigerate: If you have any leftover chickpea biryani, put it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Freezer: You can store food in a ziplock bag or freezer-safe container for up to two months in the freezer. Before putting the chickpea biryani in the freezer, make sure to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Reheat: Microwave it or heat it on the stovetop with a little water until it’s thoroughly warm.

Recipe Tips

  • Soak rice: Soaking removes extra starch from the rice. As a result, the rice cooks more fluffy.
  • Add some vegetables: You may add 1 cup of mixed vegetables, such as peas, potatoes, and carrots, or frozen vegetables to this biryani to make it heartier.
  • Rice: For the chickpea biryani, I like to use brown rice. However, you can also use short-grain rice, such as sona masoori or seeraga samba rice.
  • Vegans: I have used plant-based yogurt or lime juice.
  • Fried Onions: Before serving, sprinkle the dish with fried onions.
  • Don’t overboil the chana, or it will deform in the curry and steam in the rice.
  • Always use a thick curry when steaming rice with chana curry. It should not be watery.
  • Red onions are my favorite variety to use in the biryani. In comparison to white onions, they have a richer, sweeter flavor. Additionally, they aid in bringing out the different colors of biryani.
  • Fresh Spices: Make sure your spices are fresh so you may enjoy their full flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Brown Rice Good For Biryani?

This brown rice chickpea biryani is a healthier version of classic chicken biryani. It is made using chickpeas, brown basmati rice, fresh herbs, and warm, flavorful spices. This is my favorite comfort dish, especially when it’s served with cool raita!

Is Brown Rice Better Than Basmati?

You’ll see that brown rice does have more fat calories than basmati, but it also has a few more grams of fiber and potassium, which can keep you feeling full for longer.

How To Use Canned Chickpeas/ Garbanzo Beans In This Recipe?

Making use of canned beans takes 30 minutes to make chickpea masala biryani. Cook the curry masala per the instructions, then add in the chickpeas that have been rinsed and drained from their can. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. The rest of the instructions should be followed.

What Is The Secret Ingredient Of Biryani?

The spices are the key to making vegan biryani that smells good. This recipe has a unique taste because of the garam masala, and whole cumin seeds, green cardamom pods.

Can I Add More Veggie To The Chickpea Biryani?

Definitely. Except for the onions and tomatoes, you can add as many vegetables as you like or omit them entirely. Zucchini, potatoes, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and the majority of fast-cooking vegetables can all be added.

Can I Use Other Types Of Beans?

Although chickpeas are delicious in this dish, other beans, such as kidney beans (rajma), pinto beans, or even black beans, would also be delicious.

Is This Chickpea Brown Rice Biryani Healthy?

Each serving of this meal contains only 270 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fiber, making it more than nutritious. It is high in nutrients due to the use of chickpeas, and brown rice, as well as the addition of spices such as turmeric and whole spices.


Try this Brown Rice Chickpea Biryani recipe for a wonderful taste experience! And, don’t forget to share your feedback with me by leaving a comment below!

Other Related Recipes

  1. Turmeric Coconut Rice
  2. Turmeric Coconut Fonio
  3. Jamaican Rice And Peas
  4. Jamaican Rice And Pigeon Peas
  5. Jollof Rice

Chickpea brown rice biryani overlay in a black plate on a white background

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Brown Rice Chickpea Biryani in black bowl on white backgorund

Brown Rice Chickpea Biryani

This brown rice chickpea biryani is just what your body wants, and it’s as simple and easy as it is delicious. It’s made with nutritious chickpeas and brown rice.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brown Rice Chickpea Biryani
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 481kcal


For The Brown Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice washed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 4 cups water

Dry Spices

Chickpea Biryani

  • 1/2 medium red onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium tomato cut into slices
  • 2 green chilis sliced
  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt

Layering The Top

  • 1/2 cup Mint leaves chopped
  • 1 green chili cut into slices


For The Rice

  • Place rice in a pot of water, salt, and oil. Bring to a boil, and parboil the rice for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cook The Dry Spices

  • In a separate heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil and add in cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Chickpea Biryani

  • Add onion slices and saute until soft and caramelized on the edges, about 5 minutes. Reserve half for garnishing.
  • Add garlic and chili, and cook for another minute. Stir in tomato slices.
  • Add in all the remaining spices, salt, and chickpeas. Stir fry for a minute or two and add coconut yogurt. Let the chickpea gravy simmer for a few minutes.
  • Top it off with mint leaves, green chili, some reserved fried onions, and boiled brown rice.
  • Place wax or parchment paper in between the lid and the rice to form a tight seal. Turn the heat on low, and allow the rice to steam ‘dum’ for 25-30 minutes or until is done. Serve with some yogurt dip and fresh salad!!


Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 1027mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 622IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 4mg