Introduction: Pressure Cooker Jackfruit and Chickpea Pulao/Pilaf

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Jackfruit and Chickpea pulao/biryani (in a pressure cooker); an easy, rich, satisfying and one-pot meatless meal, bursting with the flavors of Indian spices and simple pantry ingredients.

This is an amazingly delicious one-pot Indian rice dish that you can place on your dinner or lunch table in less than an hour, if you have cooked chickpeas (high in proteins) and jackfruit (raw, considered highly nutritious and an amazing meat substitute) fresh or canned. With some simple Indian aromatic spices and good quality Basmati rice, making this is a breeze in a pressure cooker.


2 cups Basmati rice soaked in water for 20 minutes

For the browned onions:
2 cups sliced onions

Oil for deep frying

For the biryani/pilaf:

3 tbsp oil or a combination of oil and ghee

5 cloves

2 green cardamoms

1 large bay leaf

2 star anise

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds saunf

2 inch piece of cinnamon broken into two

1 large red onion sliced

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

5 to 6 green chillies/jalapenos

1 large tomato chopped

2 tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp cumin powder

½ tsp red chilli powder/cayenne powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

3 tbsp curd/yogurt whisked smooth

1 ½ cups cooked and shredded jackfruit (use canned raw jackfruit available in any Indian/Asian store or online)

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans or use any other beans you like

¼ cup shredded mint leaves

¼ cup shredded coriander leaves/cilantro

1 tsp garam masala powder

Salt to taste

½ cup black raisins fried in a little ghee or oil

Mint and coriander leaves for garnishing

Step 2: Make the Fried Onions:

Slice onions and deep fry on medium high heat, stirring often to a golden brown color. This step needs time and patience, so try not to burn the onions; they will turn bitter and destroy the dish!

Remove and place on oil-absorbent paper.

Step 3: Prepping the Ingredients:

Wash the rice in lots of water until the water runs clear and soak for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep the ingredients.

While the rice is soaking, you can fry the onions and chop the rest of the ingredients like green chilies, tomatoes, onions, mint and coriander leaves

If using canned chickpeas, drain and wash in plenty of water and drain again.

Drain the jackfruit (if using canned), wash, drain again and shred to bite sized pieces.

Drain the soaked rice in a colander until fully drained.
Once the deep fried onions are ready, you can start to make the biryani.

Step 4: Making the Pulav/biryani:

Heat the oil (or oil plus ghee) in a large pressure cooker or pan.

Once the oil is hot, add the whole spices (cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, star anise, cumin seeds, fennel and cinnamon); stir until aromatic; few seconds.

Tip in the chopped or sliced red onions and fry again on medium heat until just softened.

Step 5:

Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and fry again until the raw smell reduces; a few seconds.

Stir in the green chilies and chopped tomatoes and fry again until the tomatoes are cooked and soft.

Step 6:

At this stage, mix in the spice powders: coriander, cumin, red chili and turmeric powders; mix well and sauté again for a minute, taking care not to burn the spices. If needed, sprinkle a little water.

Add the yogurt and mix well. Stir in the chickpeas and jackfruit and stir again. Mix in some salt and cook on medium heat for a few minutes to incorporate the spices a bit.

Step 7:

Sprinkle chopped mint and coriander leaves along with the drained rice and mix well.

Fry again on medium heat until each rice grain glistens with oil or ghee and most of the moisture is gone.

Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix well.

Step 8:

Add half of the fried onions, salt to taste and pour 1 ½ cups of hot water over it. Mix well and close the pressure cooker. Place the weight on top.

If using instant pot, cook on seal.

If cooking on stove top, cover and cook until done.

Step 9:

Increase the heat and cook on high for 2 whistles (or reduce heat after one whistle and cook on low for 5 minutes). After 2 whistles, turn the heat off and leave the pan undisturbed, allowing the pressure to release naturally. This is for an Indian pressure cooker.

For Instant Pot, pressure cook for 5 minutes, NPR (naturally pressure release) 5 minutes and then release pressure manually. Once the pressure drops, open the lid and let the pulao cool a bit before fluffing it up.

Once the pressure is released, open the pan and fluff up the rice with a fork.

Step 10:

Fry the raisins in a little ghee/oil (about 1 tsp) until puffy, remove and mix into the rice.

Garnish with the remaining fried onions, chopped coriander and mint leaves and serve hot with some raita or plain yogurt, pickles, salad etc. on the side.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking!!!

Step 11:

Meat Free Meal Challenge

Participated in the
Meat Free Meal Challenge