Chana dal and Cauliflower Rice

Mixed rice varieties are easy to make, colourful and wholesome food that can be had during any meal time. It is probably one of the best choices for packed lunch, be it for school and college going kids as well as for adults.

There are so many variety rice recipes available, but it is always exciting when we come up with our own recipe. Creating new recipes is a very satisfying task for me, especially when it becomes a hit with the family. As a student of nutrition science, I always aspire to make the dish wholesome and balanced.

I am going to share one such recipe with you all today, Chana dal and Cauliflower Rice. As always, this certainly is an easy to make dish which requires only the basic ingredients in most of our kitchen. Without any more ado, let’s go into the recipe.

CuisineNorth Indian
Preparation time15 mins
Marination time30 mins
Cooking time30 mins
AuthorAnuradha Balasubramanian
Key words- North Indian food, Variety rice, Lunch box recipes


For the marinade

Cauliflower (cut into florets)4 cups
Onion (medium sized)2
Tomato (large)1
Thick curd1/4th cup
Sesame oil2 tbsp
Turmeric powder1/4th tsp
Coriander powder2 tbsps
Cumin powder1 tsp
Red chilli powder2 tsps
Garam masala1 tsp
Chat masala½ tsp
Kasturi methi2 tbsps
Salt3/4th tsp (or to taste)

For the Rice

Basmati rice1 cup
Chana dal½ cup
Bay leaf1
Cinnamon stick2 inches
Star anise1
Butter5 tbsps
Salt3/4th tsp (or to taste)
Chopped coriander leaves2 tbsps


  • Wash and soak chana dal for 30 mins.
  • Drain the soaked chana dal, add fresh water (2 cups), a pinch of salt and pressure cook for just one whistle. The dal should just break when pressed. Drain the cooked dal. Wash it once and drain again. Keep it aside.
  • Wash and cut the cauliflower into florets. Peel, wash and cut onions into square pieces. Wash and cut the tomato. Scoop out the pulp and cut it into square pieces.
  • Add 4 cups water in a pan, 1/4th tsp turmeric powder and let it boil. Add the cauliflower and let it cook for 5 mins. Drain the cauliflower and keep it aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the thick curd, oil, salt and all the powder masalas mentioned. Mix well. The marinade is ready.

  • Add the cauliflower, onion and tomato to the marinade and toss everything well till the vegetables are well coated with the marinade. Finally add Kasturi methi and mix it well.
  • Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 mins.
  • Wash and soak rice in 2 cups of water for 10 mins.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan or handi and add 2 tbsps of butter.
  • Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamoms and cloves. Saute well for few seconds ( 30s) and then add the soaked rice along with the water. Add the cooked chana dal and 3/4th tsp of salt. Mix well.

When the water starts simmering, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the flame (keep it in medium flame) and cook till the rice is just cooked (the cooked rice should break when pressed with fingers). Keep the rice aside.

  • Now heat a grill tawa or any heavy bottom tawa. Add the remaining butter.
  • Once the butter is melted, add the marinated vegetables and cook till the cauliflower turns crisp and golden.
  • Add the cooked vegetables to the cooked rice. Mix it gently.
  • Cover and cook the rice on a low flame for to mins.
  • Garnish the rice with chopped coriander leaves, fluff it gently and serve the rice hot with raita of your choice and some papad or chips.

Nutritive value per serving

Calories480 kcal
Carbohydrate55 gms
Protein15 gms
Dietary fibre15 gms
Total fat20 gms