This one-pot Kala Chana recipe is a scrumptious dish that’s positive to impress the entire household on even the busiest of weeknights. With simply half-hour of lively time, this straightforward black chickpea curry will probably be on the desk and prepared for a fuss-free dinner. Discover ways to make this conventional Punjabi dish with my straightforward to observe recipe, step-by-step images and video!

overhead shot of kala chana gravy with three coriander sprigs on top in a blue rimmed white bowl

What’s Kala Chana?

In Hindi, kala means “black,” and chana means “chickpea,” so kala chana interprets to “black chickpea.” Whereas this identify is a little bit of a misnomer – the chickpea pores and skin is definitely brown or reddish brown, not black – the identify refers to a selected number of garbanzo bean used on this dish.

Also called the Indian Black Chickpea, Bengal Gram or Desi Chickpea, kala chana is a spread that’s native to the Indian subcontinent (desi means “native” or “nation”) and has harder pores and skin and a darker look than different gentle skinned chana that you could be be conversant in.

Black chickpeas are a wealthy supply of plant based mostly protein, making them a wonderful ingredient for rising youngsters, lively sports activities gamers or individuals who want a giant dose of vitality.

NOTE: As a consequence of their excessive fiber content material, black chickpeas should be cooked totally. Some folks might discover it tough to digest these, however I discover that the Ayurvedic custom of together with spices-herbs like ginger, cumin, asafetida aids of their digestion.

Kala Chana Curry, then, is a scrumptious chickpea based mostly curry in a gravy made out of easy substances. Black chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, garlic and spices make up the majority of this tasty Punjabi dish.

If you’re a fan of black chickpeas, you then must also do that spicy Kadala Kari from the Kerala delicacies and Ghugni from the Bihari delicacies.

Why This Recipe Works

This yummy household recipe got here to me from my mother-in-law. Her recipes are at all times easy, straightforward and delectable. This kala chana curry isn’t any exception, requiring only one pot and half-hour of lively time to make.

I’m significantly keen on the consistency of this kala chana gravy. As a result of it’s so flavorful it may be loved by itself like a soup, or be paired with steamed rice or roti for a extra filling meal.

This kala chana recipe can be adjusted to your style preferences. We like our curries to be not less than reasonably spicy, however in the event you desire a extra gentle dish, merely pull again on how a lot chili you add to the gravy.

Whereas we at all times use dried chana to make curries (which requires that they soak in a single day), you’ll be able to decide to make use of canned chickpeas as a substitute if you’re quick on time. Simply observe that dried beans will at all times be inexpensive than canned.

kala chana curry with a silver spoon in a blue rimmed bowl

Step-by-Step Information

Find out how to Make Kala Chana

Within the step-by-step information, I clarify making kala chana in a stress cooker. Shouldn’t have a stress cooker? To not fear.

I’ve you sorted as I’ve listed the strategies to make this curry in a pot/pan on a range high and in an On the spot Pot, under the Ideas part and within the Notes part of the recipe card.

Soak Black Chickpeas

1. Rinse 1 cup black chickpeas (kala chana) a few instances in water. Then add 2.5 cups water and soak the kala chana in a single day or for 8 to 9 hours.

After the black chickpeas have softened and change into tender from the soaking, drain the additional water. Utilizing a strainer, rinse the soaked chickpeas in water for a few instances and put aside.

soaking black kala chana in water

Sauté Spices and Aromatics

2. In a 3 litre stress cooker, add 2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter).

ghee melting in sauté pan

3. When the oil turns into scorching, decrease the warmth. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera). Allow them to crackle.

cumin added to ghee in pan

4. As soon as the cumin seeds crackle, then add ½ cup finely chopped onions (about 1 medium-sized onion).

finely chopped onions added to cumin scented oil

5. Sauté the onions stirring usually till they change into golden. Sauté onions on a medium-low to medium warmth.

onions turning golden brown

6. Decrease the warmth once more. Add 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, and 1 teaspoon finely chopped inexperienced chillies or serrano pepper.

chopped garlic and chiles added to onions for making kala chana curry recipe

7. Sauté for 10 to 12 seconds or till the uncooked aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away.

wooden spoon mixing chili-garlic-onion mix

Sauté Tomatoes

8. Add 1.25 cups finely chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes or 1 giant tomato).

tomatoes added to pot

9. Sauté them on medium-low warmth till the oil begins leaving the perimeters of the onion-tomato masala and the tomatoes start to melt. You must see the tomatoes turning into mushy and pulpy.

TIP: Swap recent tomatoes with tomato puree or canned tomatoes. Crush the canned tomatoes earlier than you add them. For tomato puree, add about ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of it.

oil beginning to leave sides of masala

10. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing),1 teaspoon coriander powder and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri pink chilli powder.

NOTE: If you’re gluten delicate, please make sure to buy a gluten free model of asafoetida, or just omit it. Many commercially out there manufacturers are processed with wheat.

spices added to onion-tomato masala for making kala chana gravy

11. Combine effectively and sauté for a minute on a low warmth.

making kala chana masala, the oil is leaving the sides and the tomatoes are soft

Add Water

12. Add the kala chana along with 1.5 cups water.

black chana added to pot with soaking water

13. Season with salt as required and blend once more.

salt being added to kala chana gravy recipe

Stress Prepare dinner Kala Chana

14. Stress prepare dinner kala chana on a medium warmth for 10 to 11 minutes or 10 to 12 whistles (or extra, if wanted), till the kala chana are cooked effectively and softened. If the black chickpeas are undercooked, stress prepare dinner additional for five minutes extra.

TIP 1: If there may be an excessive amount of liquid within the gravy, then prepare dinner the chana with out the lid till some water evaporates. You too can mash just a few chana items for the gravy to thicken.

TIP 2: On events when I’ve time, I mix a ladle (roughly ¼ cup) of the cooked kala chana with some water to make a medium-thick paste and add it to the gravy. Combine this paste with the curry and simmer for a few minutes. This method makes the curry style fabulous and is one tip I extremely suggest.

wooden spoon showing consistency of black chickpea curry consistency

15. Once you get the specified consistency, sprinkle ½ teaspoon garam masala. Combine effectively.

garam masala being added to kala chana recipe,

16. Add 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (optionally available) to the Punjabi kala chana curry.

fresh coriander added to black chana masala recipe

Serving Ideas

Serve the kala chana gravy scorching with Indian breads – Roti or Paratha or Poori. Or take pleasure in it as a soup with some toasted bread. Pair with gentle dinner rolls to soak the scrumptious gravy.

Rice is one other greatest choice to serve kala chana with. Use your most well-liked rice – Basmati Rice or any selection. Flavored rice recipes like Jeera Rice (cumin rice), Ghee Rice are just a few extra choices.


Leftover kala chana curry retains effectively within the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Earlier than serving, warmth the curry in a pan after which serve it with a aspect of your selection.

black chickpeas curry on a bed of rice with a silver spoon in a white bowl

Skilled Ideas

Recipe and Ingredient Notes

  • Black Chickpeas: Make use of recent chickpeas which might be inside their shelf life for the most effective style and texture. Older or aged chickpeas will take an extended time to prepare dinner and gained’t lead to a flavorful curry.
  • Soaking: Black chickpeas have a harder pores and skin, so I at all times recommend to soak them in a single day for about 8 hours. Soaking additionally ensures that the chickpeas are softened and cooked effectively, which makes them straightforward to digest.
  • Tomatoes: Out of recent tomatoes? Use canned tomatoes. Crush the tomatoes previous to cooking them. If changing with tomato puree, add ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of it.
  • Spicing: We desire our kala chana to be reasonably spiced. Should you desire a much less spicy model, cut back the inexperienced chillies and pink chilli powder or cayenne pepper.
  • Consistency: The consistency of kala chana curry may be modified as you want. For a soupy and barely skinny consistency, add a little bit of extra water. For a thicker consistency, add much less water. Punjabi kala chana has a medium-thin to skinny consistency and isn’t thick.

On the spot Pot Kala Chana

  1. First rinse and soak the black chickpeas for 8 to 9 hours. Kala chana curry is a breeze to make within the On the spot Pot. Comply with the recipe directions as is by first sautéing the aromatics, tomatoes and floor spices.
  2. Add 1.5 cups water and stress prepare dinner on excessive stress for 25 to half-hour. When the beep sound is heard, after the cooking is full, give a fast stress launch after 10 to 12 minutes. End with garam masala and coriander leaves.

Making Kala Chana in a Pot

  • Presoak chickpeas for not less than 8 hours earlier than cooking. I recommend to first prepare dinner the soaked chickpeas in 2 cups of water or as wanted in a medium to giant pot or pan on stovetop on medium to medium-high warmth.
  • Soaked kala chana will take greater than an hour to prepare dinner in a pot. Cowl and prepare dinner. Drain all of the water from the cooked chickpeas and put aside.
  • Sauté the aromatics, spices and tomatoes in a pan or skillet as listed within the step-by-step information above. Add the cooked kala chana, salt to this sautéed base of onions, tomatoes.
  • Add 1 cup water or as wanted. Combine effectively and simmer for 7 to eight minutes or extra till the gravy thickens a bit and the chickpeas have absorbed the flavors of the masala. Lastly add the coriander leaves and garam masala.


Is kala chana identical as chickpeas?

Principally there are few sorts of chickpeas. Kala chana (desi chana) is a smaller sized chickpea having a brown husk whereas white chickpea (kabuli chana) is bigger in dimension having creamish-white husks. There are additionally chickpea variants which have inexperienced husks (hara chana) and darkish black husks (an area uncommon variant).

How can I thicken my curry gravy?

There are just a few methods to realize this. First, you’ll be able to simmer the gravy and chickpeas with no lid after the stress has been launched from the stress cooker. It will assist to evaporate a number of the extra liquid.

Secondly, you’ll be able to decide to mash or mix a ladle-full of the chana. Add the mashed chickpeas again to the gravy and simmer on low. It will launch a number of the starch into the gravy, which ought to then thicken the sauce.

Lastly, you’ll be able to decide so as to add a tablespoon or two of roasted besan (or chickpea flour) to the combination, stirring effectively to mix.

Can I make kala chana forward of time?

Completely. This black chickpea curry ought to final effectively within the fridge for as much as 1 to 2 days.

Extra Common Punjabi Lentil Recipes!

Straightforward9 hrs

Dal Makhani

Should you made this recipe, please make sure to charge it within the recipe card under. Sign Up for my electronic mail e-newsletter or you’ll be able to observe me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for extra vegetarian inspirations.

This one-pot Kala Chana recipe is a scrumptious dish that’s positive to impress the entire household on even the busiest of weeknights. With simply half-hour of lively time, this straightforward conventional Punjabi dish of black chickpea curry will probably be on the desk and prepared for a fuss-free dinner.

Prep Time 9 hrs

Prepare dinner Time 30 minutes

Whole Time 9 hrs 30 minutes

Servings 4

Forestall your display from going darkish whereas making the recipe

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This kala chana put up from the weblog archives (January 2014) has been republished and up to date on 23 August 2021.

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