Instant Pot Chana Masala Biryani | Chickpeas Rice (Vegan)

October 23, 2017 (Updated: June 7, 2019) By Aneesha |

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This one-pot Chana Masala Biryani or Chickpeas Rice is a combination of two delicious Indian delicacies, chickpeas curry called Chana Masala, and an aromatic rice pilaf called Biryani.  Enjoy this vegan and gluten-free meal with this easy Instant Pot recipe.

An Indian spiced Chickpeas and rice pilaf served in a white bowl

Two Delicious Recipes Rolled Into ONE

This dish is a combination of two amazing Indian dishes- Chana Masala and Biryani!

Chana Masala is a vegetarian Indian curry, in which I cook chickpeas, or garbanzo beans in a tomato-onion gravy.  I season it with toasted Indian spices like garam masala, coriander and cumin, and is garnish it with fresh chopped cilantro. 

On the other hand, Biryani is a popular rice dish, much like a flavored rice-pilaf, in which I cook rice with Indian spiced meats or vegetables.  

In this dish, I have brought the two recipes together, all in one pot. It’s a pleasant change from the routine menu, plus the flavor combination is amazing! Try it sometime!

Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipe

Unlike most other Biryani recipes I make, I don’t use any yogurt in this one, which makes it perfect for a vegan diet.  It’s also naturally gluten-free.

I start by making a Chana Masala Curry, with fresh tomatoes, aromatics and Indian spices, and then cook the basmati rice in that curry.  The result is a perfect blend of flavors, that is unbelievably delicious!

Chana Masala Biryani or Chickpeas Biryani, is a combination of two popular Indian dishes, Chickpeas Masala Curry & Indian Rice Pilaf called Biryani! #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian #vegan #Rice #curry

Instant Pot Recipe for Chana Masala Biryani

I prepare this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot.   Even though this recipe is a two-step process, all the magic happens in the same pot. 

Another big plus of pressure cooking this dish is that the flavors in Chana Masala Curry infuse with the basmati rice, and the end taste it pretty delicious.

Step by Step Instructions for Chana Masala Biryani in Instant Pot

Step 1: Prep

  • Rinse and soak basmati rice while you make chana masala.
  • Slice onions and de-seed green chillies if you prefer mild heat.
  • Chop tomatoes.
  • Finely chop ginger garlic or pulse few times in a mini food processor.

Step 2: Make Chana Masala curry

  • Heat oil on Saute mode in Instant Pot.
  • Add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add onions and chillies and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add ginger-garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and all spices. Stir well and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and water. Stir well and close the lid.
  • Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Bean/Chili mode or Manual for 25 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, adjust cooking time to 6 minutes.

Step 3: Cook the Biryani

  • Release the pressure manually. You can do that by turning the pressure valve to ‘Venting’ position in DUO models, or by pressing down the valve in Ultra models.
  • After the pin drops, open the lid. Spread the drained rice evenly over the curry. Gently push down with a spatula to submerge the rice in the curry.
  • Sprinkle the remaining salt (listed under “Biryani”).
  • Top with chopped cilantro & mint followed by soaked saffron (with liquid) and fried onions.
  • Press down with a spatula gently. Close lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Manual (high) for 6 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for at least 5 minutes. After that release remaining pressure manually and open the lid after the pin drops.
  • Using a fork, fluff the rice. Let is sit in the pot, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes, This allows for the extra moisture to evaporate.
  • Enjoy this Chana Masala Biryani with a Garden Salad with lemon Vinaigrette for a Vegan option, or a Cucumber Raita (Indian Cucumber-yogurt) dip.

Using Canned Garbanzo Beans in this Recipe

There are times when I forget to soak chickpeas, or just don’t have the time to do that.  In that case, I use canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas). 

Using canned beans reduces the cooking time by almost 15-17 minutes and I can make this Chana Masala Biryani in 30 minutes

All I do is, rinse and drain the chickpeas, and add it to the curry masala.  You can make this Biryani more hearty by adding vegetables like carrots and potatoes, along with rice. 

Since the chickpeas are already cooked, I pressure cook everything together for 6 minutes only.

Using Quinoa Instead of Rice

Sometimes, I make Chana Masala Biryani with Quinoa

I rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  And, instead of adding rice, I add Quinoa and cook on Manual or Pressure cook, for 2 minutes with natural pressure release. 

If I’m making the Chana Masala Curry with dried chickpeas, I increase the cook time of the chickpeas curry to 30 minutes.  This way I ensure that the chickpeas are cooked and tender before I add the quinoa.

Chana Masala Biryani or Chickpeas Biryani, is a combination of two popular Indian dishes, Chickpeas Masala Curry & Indian Rice Pilaf called Biryani! #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian #vegan #Rice #curry

Make a Meal: What to Serve with Chana Masala Biryani

I love to serve all Biryanis with Cucumber Raita (Cucumber Yogurt Dip).   I love this combination as the cool yogurt and the crunchy cucumber contrast and balance the earthy flavors of the Indian spices really well. 

For a vegan option, serve it with a fresh Garden Salad, with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and lettuce, and dress it with a simple lemon vinaigrette. You’ll love the combination.

More Instant Pot Biryani Recipes

Instant Pot Quinoa Vegetable Biryani

Quionoa vegetable biryani. A healthy twist to your everyday vegetarian biryani by Spice Cravings. Quinoa Vegetable Biryani/Pilaf is my healthy twist on a popular Indian classic, Vegetable Biryani! I replace rice with Quinoa in this recipe. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Instant Pot Achaari Paneer Biryani

Achaari Paneer Biryani- combining two popular dishes, Achaari Paneer and Biryani in one pot by Spice Cravings. Achaari paneer biryani combines paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), cooked with pickling spices, with biryani, which is rice cooked with Indian spices. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Lamb Dum Biryani in the Instant Pot

Indian spiced lamb and rice pilaf called Lamb Biryani, served in a copper bowl

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Indian spiced chicken and rice pilaf called chicken biryani served on a white plate.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

A chickpeas and rice pilaf served in a white bowl on a colorful tray.

Instant Pot Chana Masala Biryani | Chickpeas Biryani (Vegan)

Chana Masala Biryani or Chickpeas Biryani, is a combination of two popular Indian dishes, Chickpeas Masala Curry & Indian Rice Pilaf called Biryani!    I make this vegan dish in an instant pot, which really blends the flavors together.
Print Pin Discuss Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 458kcal

Ingredients

Chana Masala

Biryani

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice Long grain(soaked and rinsed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Fried Onions I use store bought
  • 1/2 cup cilantro & mint, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon warm-hot water. I pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so

Instructions

  • Prep: Rinse and soak basmati rice while you make chana masala. Slice onions and de-seed green chillies if you prefer mild heat. Chop tomatoes. Finely chop ginger garlic or pulse few times in a mini food processor.
  • Let’s start by making Chana Masala. Heat oil on Saute mode in Instant Pot. Add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add onions and chillies and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes and all spices listed under ‘Chana Masala”. Stir well and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and water. Stir well and close the lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Bean/Chili mode or Manual for 25 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, adjust cooking time to 6 minutes.
  • Time to put together Biryani. After manual pressure release (QR), open the lid. Add drained rice. Sprinkle the remaining salt (listed under “Biryani”). Top with chopped cilantro & mint followed by soaked saffron (with liquid) and fried onions. Press down with a spatula gently. Close lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Manual (high) for 6 minutes.
  • Open lid after natural pressure release. Using a fork, fluff the rice. Enjoy Biryani with a Garden Salad with lemon Vinaigrette for a Vegan option, or, a Cucumber Raita (spicy Cucumber-yogurt) dip.

NOTES

  • This Biryani can be made in the traditional stove-top pressure cooker like Hawkins or Prestige too. Follow the procedure to cook Chana Masala on medium-high flame. After 2 whistles, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Manually release the pressure by lifting the pressure weight. Open the lid, follow the steps of layering rice and other ingredients. Close the lid and cook on medium-high heat for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

Video

Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
 
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 960mg | Potassium: 626mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 12.3% | Vitamin C: 11.7% | Calcium: 9.2% | Iron: 27.6%
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: vegetarian biryani
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Ian
    January 4, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    This looks amazing. I puerchased all the ingredients. 2 quick questions

    1.Do you microwave the saffron and water together or first microwave the water then add the saffron and let it sit for a while?

    2. Is it 1/2 cup cilantro & 1/2 cup mint or 1/4cup cilantro & 1/4 cup mint?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      January 4, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Ian, thank you! As for Saffron, I just add the saffron in warm water from the kettle, but you could microwave the water and then add saffron. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and it’ll release it’s color and aroma. Cilantro and mint is 1/2 cup each. Happy cooking. I would love to hear how it turned out!

  • Reply
    Kinjal
    January 16, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    If I were to make this with brown rice & soaked chickpeas, what would the settings be? How long should I soak the brown rice?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      January 16, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Kinjal, I’ve been wanting to try it myself, but haven’t done it yet! I would say 25 minutes manual/Pressure Cook, NPR 10 should be good. I would soak chickpeas over night, and brown rice can be soaked in lukewarm water for 20 mins. Would love to hear how it turned out!

  • Reply
    aneeshasg
    December 9, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Thanks for catching that Tracey! It’s 1/2 teaspoon Saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon warm-hot water (I pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so). I have updated the recipe too- thanks! Would love to hear how you liked it?

    • Reply
      Tracey
      December 9, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      It was absolutely delicious. We had it for lunch then served up the rest as a side for dinner with a roast chicken. Am definitely going to try more of your Indian dishes as I have been too nervous to make them. I can’t always get the ingredients so find suitable substitutes. Was happy you mentioned using jalapenos as the other type of pepper I have never seen in my area.

      • Reply
        aneeshasg
        December 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm

        Awesome! So glad you enjoyed this recipe. Would love for you to try more of my recipes! I try my best to post substitutes, but if you don’t see one listed, send me a message and hopefully, I’ll send you a solution right away!

  • Reply
    Tracey
    December 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

    What amount of saffron did you use? It isn’t listed anywhere so no idea how much or how much liquid to soak them in.

  • Leave a Reply