BLACK CHICKPEA PULAO - Protein Rich, Low GI and Diabetic Friendly

The role of a woman in the kitchen has become very challenging in terms of 'cooking up' new dishes that are healthy, tasty and acceptable to her family. With the rising incidence and prevalence of nutritional disorders, the need to research and develop healthy recipes has become the primary focus of every household. As a Food blogger and Nutritionist,  there is a shared responsibility on my shoulders to do my part in posting healthy recipes that benefit everyone.  Needless to say, this recipe has all the qualities of a regular Pulao but a guaranteed, guilt-free indulgence. With both Basmathi rice and chick peas being low in glycemic indices, a great, yet simple meal is what you will read below.

A dish that is protein rich, low in GI, with a high satiety value and not compromising on taste is a healthy option not only for people with life style disorders but also for weight watchers and people with pregnancy related complications. FYI, hospitals in Singapore recommend Indians to include Basmathi ( both brown and white varieties) and Chickpeas ( in addition to other low GI foods like millets and grams) in their regular diet as lot of research studies have already proven that the Asian gene has a tendency to be Diabetic. 

I prepared this Pulao for lunch last week along with a serving of Salad and Cucumber Raita that kept me full on stomach for about 3 hours. 

Try this recipe and feedback. Diabetics need to ensure to check with a Doctor/ Dietitian about one's carbohydrate allowance per day and include servings accordingly. A check on the post meal blood values will help monitor your intake and aid your 'guilt-free' feel.

Preparation Time: Overnight soaking + Pressure cooking
Cooking Time: 15 min
Category : Main course
Level: Easy
Spice Level: Medium/ Spicy
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2-3
Nutritional Information: Low GI, Diabetic friendly
Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 206
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g8 %
Saturated Fat 2 g9 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 502 mg21 %
Potassium 186 mg5 %
Total Carbohydrate 35 g12 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g21 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 6 g12 %
Vitamin A13 %
Vitamin C9 %
Calcium6 %
Iron13 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
  • 1 cup Basmathi rice ( white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup Black chickpeas boiled and cooked
  • 1 large onion sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 green chillies chopped or slit
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2- green cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil/ Olive oil
  • 1 tsp ghee (optional)
  • 1 tsp Garam masala/ Channa masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped Cilantro for garnish

  • Soak chickpeas overnight and pressure cook until soft adding salt and water. Drain water and set aside to cool.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add all the whole spices when hot. When the spices turn fragrant, add onions, chillies and saute until translucent. Add a dash of salt. Stir well.
  • Add ginger garlic paste. Sprinkle little water and saute. This is to prevent burning of spices and onions. 
  • When the pungent aroma disappears, add 2 cups of water, salt to taste, garam masala powder/ channa masala powder, sugar. 
  • Stir well and let it cook well. Taste the water to check for salt and spice level. Add whatever is required.
  • To this water, add Basmathi rice and mix well.Cook on open flame for 2-3 minutes and close with a lid.
  • When you observe the steam release, pop on the weights and cook upto 2 whistles and turn the heat off. 
  • Let it sit on the burner until the pressure releases.
  • Open and stir gently to fluff the rice. Add 1 tsp ghee, if an extra glaze is desired. 
  • Serve with Salad and Raita of your choice.


  1. Very sweet pics .♡
    Will master them ...

  2. I always look out for simple, healthy recipes. Sowmya, this one fits that category so well. Thanks for sharing. - Sreelatha

  3. Looks nice. My mom is gng through the delima of being the wife of a diabetic what to give or not. So thanks for the recipe

    1. Thank you Nammi. Chickpeas gives good results. Chickpeas can also be incorporated into other standard crepe bases like Adai. It may not give the same crispness of a rice based Adai but feels full when a single serving is eaten and tastes very nice. Let me know tour mom s feedback Pls.

  4. Why do the doctors recommend Basmati rice ?

    1. Shankari, Basmathi is low in glycemic index. Any food that has a low GI will release carbs very slowly into the blood. As a result the post prandial glucose values will be low and at the same time a person will not feel the craving to eat immediately. This way it keeps the blood glucose stable not allowing it to spike. So, it is well suited for rice eaters and people with complications.

  5. Thank you for the clarification :)

  6. Totally love this rice... I feel like picking it up from the screen and having it right away... all the props used are super cute...

  7. Beautiful click and awesome props. Love this quick healthy 1 pot meal.

  8. A lovely one pot meal along with a nice explanation of nutritional value of the dish..

  9. Amazing recipe with kala channa. wonderful

  10. this is one of my fav ways to eat black chickpeas.. The sheen on your dish makes it very tempting Sowmya


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