Kala Chana (Black Chickpeas Curry) is easy to make, protein-rich, and delicious Indian curry served with a bowl of steamed rice. It is made by adding boiled Kala Chana (a unique variety of chickpeas) to onions, tomatoes, and spices.
I have always been a fan of Black Chickpeas. I like them spicy. If I make them dry, I like them with roti. The curry recipe goes better with rice. Sometimes I put extra water while boiling to enjoy it as a soup.
The post contains Helpful Tips & Tricks to make Kala Chana Curry. But if you're in a hurry, you can also click "Jump to Recipe' under the Heading to go directly to the Recipe Card or click Recipe Card from the Table of Contents below.
ABOUT KALA CHANA
In a literal sense, Kala Chana is made with two words: Kala (means black) and Chana (means chickpeas). This is a particular form of garbanzo beans that is deep brown in color.
This variety of chickpeas is very popular in Indian cuisine, and it is used in a variety of recipes. You can use it to make a curry, or a salad (popularly known as chaat), enjoy it in a soup, or serve it dry with some onions and lemon juice. No matter how to use it, the recipe will also turn delicious.
You can make it on the stovetop and in an Instant Pot. Cooking with Instant Pot will make the cooking process easier and less time-consuming.
Like Green Sprouts, these black chickpeas are a good source of protein. So if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet, then instead of having soy in your diet, I will urge you to include Kala Chana.
INGREDIENTS & SUBS
- KALA CHANA: For this recipe, you'll need Kala Chana. These are readily available in Indian stores like Patel Bros., Or you can also get them from Amazon.
- TADKA: You'll need the basic Indian tadka made from onion and tomatoes to make this curry. You can make the tadka fresh, or you can also use the frozen tadka.
- GINGER-GARLIC: To make this curry aromatic & delicious, add fresh grated or minced ginger & garlic. You can use it when boiling the chana or add it when making the onion tomato masala/ tadka.
- SPICES: Basic Indian spices are used to make this delicious Indian curry, including red chili powder, garam masala powder, roasted cumin powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, and salt.
- GARNISH: Lastly, garnish the curry with chopped cilantro and lemon juice.
See the recipe card for quantities.
HOW TO MAKE KALA CHANA CURRY
**For the full recipe, check the recipe card below but you refer here for step-by-step photo instructions.
Rinse the Kala Chana couple of times until the water runs out clean. Then soak them overnight or for 6-8 hours.
Once soaked, strain the water and place chana in the instant pot or on the stovetop pressure cook and pressure cook for 30 minutes.
Make Onion-Tomato Masala
In a skillet, add oil. When oil is hot, add onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. When onions start to change the color, add tomatoes. Cook tomatoes until they turn soft & mushy.
Add grated or minced ginger & garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Then Add spices (red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, amchur powder, and salt). Saute for 1-2 minutes.
Once Kala Chana is pressure cooked and is soft & tender, add it to the onion-tomato masala. Add more water (if needed) and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency.
Garnish with Cilantro and sprinkle some lemon juice and enjoy!
HOW TO MAKE KALA CHANA IN AN INSTANT POT
You can make Kale Chane in Instant Pot in two ways: using Bean Mode or Pressure Cook Mode. You can use these methods to make a delicious Chana Recipe. Though Beans Mode has presets, especially for beans and legumes. But if you use Pressure Cook Mode, you need to adjust the time.
If you don't want to soak them overnight, add black chickpeas to Instant Pot and cover them with water (in 1:2 proportion). Pressure cook for 60 minutes and let the pressure release naturally (NPR).
In Bean Mode or in Pressure Cook Mode, pressure cook Kala Chana for 30-60 minutes. Pressure for 30 minutes, if you want, not too soft & not too hard (al dente). Pressure cook for 40 minutes if you want softer. And 60 minutes if you want kidney beans to be incredibly soft.
I pressure cook for 60 minutes, as everyone in my family likes extremely soft Chane.
HOW TO MAKE KALA CHANA ON STOVETOP
First, I soak dried black chickpeas overnight in at least 2 qt of water. Then drain the water and cook the chickpeas by adding them to an Instant Pot or any other pressure cooker with a quart of water and some salt. Pressure cook at medium heat for 5 whistles and then at low-heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Use fresh black chickpeas that are not too old. That way, you will get the curry's incredible taste and flavor.
- Always soak black chickpeas overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. Kala Chana has a hard shell, so it will be easy to digest when you soak them.
- You can use fresh onion tomato masala to give the curry a nice flavor. Or, if you have frozen masala, use it to reduce the cooking time.
- You can adjust the consistency as you like. For example, you can add more water for thin, soup-type consistency. For a semi-dried recipe, add less water.
- You can add more green chili and red chili powder for a spicy flavor.
- Garnish with Cilantro and sprinkle some lemon juice for a tangy flavor.
You can serve this Kala Chana Curry with a bowl of steamed white rice or jeera rice. Garnish with some cilantro and for a tangy flavor, sprinkle some lemon juice.
Serve it with sliced onion and green chutney for a complete meal.
You can store it in the refrigerator or freezer; the taste will remain the same. You can store leftover Chana Curry in the fridge for 3-5 days. And in the freezer in a container for 1-2 months. Before using the freezer-stored Black Chickpeas, just thaw and heat them in the microwave or pan on the stovetop until boiling.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are two ways you can make Kala Chana without soaking:
Pressure cook for 60 minutes at a High-Pressure level. You can also add a pinch of baking soda.
Or you can first pressure cook for 10 minutes at High-Pressure. And let it sit for 1 hour. And then again, pressure cook with salt for 30-60 minutes at High-Pressure.
Yes, Kala Chana is very healthy. It is protein-rich and filled with nutrition and can also help in weight loss when made using less oil.
Kala Chana is a form of chickpeas that is deep brown in color. They have a hard shell, and it takes longer to cook than other chickpeas forms.
You can make this curry spicy by adding green chili and more red chili powder.
OTHER BEANS & LEGUMES RECIPE
- CHICKPEAS CURRY
- RAJMA MASALA (KIDNEY BEANS CURRY)
- DAL MAKHANI
- MOON DAL TADKA
- MATAR CHAAT
- SWEET POTATO & LENTIL CURRY
- SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEAS HASH
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📖 RECIPE CARD
KALA CHANA CURRY (BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY)
- 1 Cup Black Chickpeas soaked
- 3 cups Water
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- ½ Onion chopped
- 2 Tomatoes cut in chunks
- 1 tablespoon Ginger- Garlic Paste
- 1 tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Powder or Roasted Cumin Powder
- ½ teaspoon Mango/ Amchur Powder
- Red Chili Powder
HOW TO MAKE IN IN INSTANT POT
- Press Saute and add Oil to the instant pot. Once the oil is hot, add onions to it. Let them fry for 2-3 minutes.
- When the Onion starts to change color, add tomatoes to it. When they turn soft & mushy, grind them using an immersion blender or in a regular mixer grinder.
- After grinding the mixture, add Ginger-Garlic Paste to it and let it cook for 1-2 minutes till rawness disappears. Then add all the spices (including Garam Masala Powder, Coriander Powder, Mango Powder, Roasted Cumin Powder, and Red Chili Powder), and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
- Cancel Saute and add soaked Black Chickpeas to the Pot and add water and salt to it.
- Close the lid, and with the vent in the sealing position, pressure cook for 30 minutes. Once the Instant Pot beeps. let the pressure release naturally.For unsoaked: Pressure Cook for 60 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.(Note: In Bean Mode or in Pressure Cook Mode, pressure cook Kala Chana for 30-60 minutes. Pressure for 30 minutes, if you want, not too soft & not too hard (al dente). Pressure cook for 40 minutes, if you want softer. And 60 minutes if you want kidney beans to be incredibly soft),
- Press saute and simmer until you get desired consistency. Then garnish with cilantro and sprinkle some lemon juice.
HOW TO MAKE IN STOVE-TOP:
- Stove-Top: Add Black Chickpeas (or Kale Chane) with water in the stove-top pressure cooker. Pressure cook at medium-high for 3-4 whistles, then lower the heat and let it cook for 20 minutes. Once the pressure is released, open the lid.Instant Pot: Once soaked, strain the water and place chane in the instant pot, and pressure cook for 30 minutes.(Note: In Bean Mode or in Pressure Cook Mode, pressure cook Kala Chana for 30-60 minutes. Pressure for 30 minutes, if you want, not too soft & not too hard (al dente). Pressure cook for 40 minutes, if you want softer. And 60 minutes if you want kidney beans to be incredibly soft),
- In another pan or wok, add oil. When the oil is hot, add onions. When the onions start to change color, add tomatoes to it. When they are mushy, grind them using an immersion blender or in a regular mixer grinder.
- After grinding the mixture, add Ginger-Garlic Paste to it and let it cook for 1-2 minutes till the rawness disappears. Then add all the spices (including Garam Masala Powder, Coriander Powder, Mango Powder, Roasted Cumin Powder, and Red Chili Powder), and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
- Mix the boiled kale chane with the prepared masala in the pan. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes until properly combined. Transfer in a bowl and garnish with some cilantro and serve with rice.
- Use fresh black chickpeas that are not too old. That way you will get the most amazing taste and flavor in the curry.
- Always soak black chickpeas overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. Kala Chana has a hard shell, so when you soak them they will be easy to digest.
- You can use fresh onion tomato masala that will give a nice flavor to the curry. or if you have frozen masala, then use it to reduce the cooking time.
- You can adjust the consistency as you like. You can add more water for thin, soup-type consistency. For a semi-dried recipe, add less water.
- You can add more green chili as well as red chili powder, for a spicy flavor.
- Garnish with cilantro and sprinkle some lemon juice for a tangy flavor.
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