Kale and Chickpea Pulao

This is one of those recipes that is quick, easy and has easily substitute-able ingredients. It has greens, protein and carbs, all in the right balance, along with familiar flavors that will leave you satiated.

Beans and rice are not just a staple in Latin America, but in many other parts of the world, especially India. Only difference is that in India, the beans (or legumes) are cooked separately in a curry form and is eaten with rice. But time is of the essence for most of us today. So one-pot meals like this one can give us the required nutrition and bring us the comfort at the end of a long day.

Although I am trying to get my husband to eat less rice and switch over to other grains, he is a true rice lover. So when we are in long distance, this is the kind of recipe for him or anyone in his place. Quick, filling and no-brainer type recipe.

Prep time5 minutes
Cook time20 minutes
Serves2 (for 2 meals)



  • Rice – 2 cups, washed and soaked for 10 minutes


  • Chickpeas – 1 15oz can, drained and rinsed (This is equivalent to 1 1/2 cups)


  • Shallots – 1 large, diced
  • Kale – 1/2 a bag (chopped) or 1 fresh bunch, roughly chopped
  • Carrots – 1 cup, matchstick or shredded
  • Serrano Pepper – 1, finely chopped

Spices and Herbs

  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ground Cinnamon – 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  • Ground Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Ground Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 1/2 tsps
  • Salt – As per taste


  • Cooking Oil – 2 tbsps

Ingredient notes

  • There are different types of Kale available at stores. The one used in this Pulao is Curly Kale. This is the most commonly found Kale and has versatile uses. It is available in bagged format (that is triple washed and chopped) or as a fresh bunch, which you need to thoroughly wash
  • For Chickpeas, if you prefer not to use the canned ones, soak 3/4 cup dried Chickpeas overnight for use in this recipe
  • If you want to skip the Serrano Pepper, add 1 tsp of Paprika or Red Chilli Powder for the sipce


  1. Turn the Instant Pot to saute mode and set it for 8 minutes
  2. Add oil
  3. Once the pot displays hot, oil is hot. Add the cumin seeds and cinnamon. Let is fry for 30 seconds for the cinnamon to release its essential oils
  4. After this, add the onions, serrano peppers and ginger garlic paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions are softened and turn slightly translucent
  5. Add the carrots and mix well. Add salt and mix again
  6. Add the chickpeas and mix well
  7. Add the spices and mix well for 2-3 minutes to cook the spices and coat all ingredients with them
  8. Add a splash of water to de-glaze the pot
  9. Add the soaked rice and mix well
  10. To add the Kale, simply place it on the top of the rice mixture. There is no need to mix it as the leaves will wilt into the mixture during the cooking process
  11. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and turn the pressure valve to the sealed position
  12. Cancel the saute mode. Select the pressure cook mode, select 12 minutes and high pressure
  13. Once the cooking is complete, allow the vent to naturally release pressure before moving it to the open position and doing a quick release
  14. Mix, serve and enjoy with a bowl of chilled boondi raita 🙂

Stove-top Method

  • Follow the same instructions as above, but use a pressure cooker
  • The rice can be cooked for the length of 3-4 whistles
  • Then, switch off the gas and wait for the natural pressure release before lifting the weight and opening the cooker

Recipe variations

  • Substitute Kale with any other choice of greens such as Spinach or Chard
  • Substitute with choice of legume, such as black beans or Kidney Beans
  • Substitute Rice with any grain of choice. Just remember to adjust the cooking time as per the instructions on the pack of grains

You can also follow me on Instagram to be up-to-date with what is cooking my kitchen. If you like this recipe, do share your comments below. Don’t forget to post your version on Instagram using #foodformyloveblog.

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