Yet another one of my favorite lunch box recipe is this simple but nutritious Chana pulao, very filling, aromatic and just right for a school lunch. It is also my life saver when I do not have the necessary vegetables in stock and chana /chickpeas is something I always have in stock.
Of course I do prepare this for our lunch at home but this has become one of the many planned menu for school lunches which I roll out from Monday to Friday.
Kids will not have too spicy food , so this comes across as a pleasing to the taste buds with mild flavors. you need to customize the recipe for a spicier version. However we find this proportion good enough for adults alike.
1 cup basmati rice soaked for minimum 15 minutes.
1/2 cup Chick peas.( soaked over night ) or canned. Drain the liquid in case of using canned ..
1 tsp chana masala, any good brand.
3 small green chillis slitted.
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tbsp chopped fresh green coriander leaves.
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp ghee
some fried cashewnuts( optional )
water 1 1/2 cup
2 bay leaves
1 small piece of cinnamon
1 small cardamom and 1 big cardamom
1 star anise
1. In a pressure cooker or pressure pan, heat the ghee or oil, add the cumin seeds, the dry spices given in Other ingredients list, sautee well till a fine aroma is released from the spices, then add the green chillis, ginger paste sautee till the raw smell disappears, add the chana, drain of the soaked water and add all the remaining ingredients and the basmati rice with the required amount of water with salt.
Pressure cook for 3 whistles, depends on cooker types too, in some cookers even 2 whistles is enough.
Let the pressure cooker cool down, open, stir gently and keep hot.
Garnish with fried cashewnuts which is optional.Kids might enjoy them.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and add some ghee while serving to kids.
Serve with curd, raita, slices of cucumber , and pickle.
Notes...you can add onions and garlic with ginger paste if you wish.