Kala Chana Masala Recipe | Black Chickpea Curry

kala chana masala recipe

Kala Chana Masala Recipe: A nutritious punjabi curry recipe made primarily with black chickpeas, also known as desi chickpeas The curry recipe can be prepared in either a dry or gravy form. It is an excellent curry recipe to serve with roti, chapathi, steamed rice, or jeera rice.

This one-pot Kala Chana recipe is a delicious dish that is sure to impress the whole family on even the busiest of weeknights. With just 30 minutes of active time, this easy black chickpea curry will be on the table and ready for a fuss-free dinner. Learn how to make this traditional Punjabi dish with my easy to follow recipe, step-by-step photos and video!

Black chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making them an ideal ingredient for growing children, active sports players, or people who require a lot of energy.

This kala chana recipe can also be tailored to your personal tastes. We like our curries to be at least moderately spicy, but if you prefer a milder dish, simply reduce the amount of chilli in the gravy.

While we always use dried chana to make curries (which requires soaking overnight), if you are short on time, you can substitute canned chickpeas. Just keep in mind that dried beans will always be less expensive than canned beans.

The recipe for punjabi kala chana curry is very simple and uses basic ingredients that are readily available in any common kitchen. Unlike other punjabi curries recipes, this one is light, with no cream or cashew paste, making it a healthier option. Aside from rotis, it goes well with south Indian breakfast dishes like idli, dosa, and even idiyappam.

As a vegetarian, I have very few options for protein-based dishes in our diet. Fortunately, recipes such as chole masala, lentil-based curries, and even black chana masala help to supply the missing nutrient in our diet. It also contains a lot of fibre, so the dry version of kala chana is frequently served as a complete meal on its own. It is also high in vegetable protein, has a low calorie density, and is recommended for diabetics. However, I prepare it on a regular basis for other reasons. I like how simple the recipe is, and how it can be made with just onion and tomatoes and basic spice powders.

In addition, some helpful hints, recommendations, and serving suggestions for a delicious kala chana recipe are provided. First and foremost, I strongly advise soaking the black chickpeas before making this curry. Ideally, overnight soaking should suffice, and pressure cooking chana should help to speed up the cooking process. Second, while sautéing the onion and tomatoes, you can optionally add besan flour to make a thick curry. I didn’t add anything and kept the curry very thin because I prefer it that way. Finally, the same recipe can be expanded by adding a variety of lentils or dals while pressure cooking. The end result is a delicious curry that pairs well with jeera rice.

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Kala Chana Masala Recipe Card:

kala chana masala recipe

Kala Chana Masala Recipe

Kala Chana Masala is a flavorful vegan Indian curry made with an unusual ingredient: black chickpeas! Because black chickpeas are nuttier and firmer than traditional garbanzo beans, this dish is one-of-a-kind. Serve with basmati rice and plenty of serrano peppers!!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course curry
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 servings


  • 3 tsp  oil
  • 1 tsp cumin / jeera
  • 1/2 tsp  cinnamon
  • 3  pods cardamom
  • 3  cloves
  • 1  bay leaf / tej patta
  • 1 tsp  dry fenugreek leaves / kasuri methi
  • pinch of hing / asafoetida
  • 1  onion   (finely chopped)
  • 2  green chilli   (slit)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup  tomato   (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp  turmeric / haldi
  • 1 tsp  kashmiri red chilli powder / lal mirch powder
  • 1 tsp  coriander powder
  • 3 cups  water
  • 1 tsp mango powder / aamchur powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp  garam masala
  • 1 cup  black chana / kala chana   (soaked overnight)
  • 2 tbsp  coriander   (finely chopped)


  • To begin, heat 3 tsp oil in a pressure cooker and sauté 1 tsp cumin, 12 tsp cinnamon, 3 pods cardamom, 3 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp kasuri methi, and a pinch of hing. Sauté until the spices become aromatic.
  • Now sauté 1 onion until golden brown
  • Additionally, saute 2 green chilies and 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • In addition, sauté 1 cup tomato until soft and mushy.
  • Add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp mango powder, and 1 tsp salt to taste.
  • Sauté on low heat until the oil from the tomato comes to the surface.
  • Now add 1 cup soaked black chana or kala chana. Cook for a minute.
  • Mix in 3 cups of water thoroughly.
  • Cover and pressure cook for 8 whistles, or until the chana is completely cooked.
  • Mix in 1/2 tsp garam masala and 2 tbsp coriander.
  • Finally, kala chana curry can be served with rice or roti.
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  • Soak the kala chana first; otherwise, it will not be completely cooked
  • Cook the kala chana in a pressure cooker on medium heat for 10 to 11 minutes, or 10 to 12 whistles (or more if necessary), until softened. If the black chickpeas are undercooked, pressure cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • TIP 1: If the gravy has too much liquid, cook the chana without the lid until some of the water evaporates. You can also mash a few chana pieces to thicken the gravy.
  • TIP 2: When I have time, I make a medium-thick paste out of a ladle (roughly 14 cup) of the cooked kala chana and add it to the gravy. Combine this paste with the curry and cook for a few minutes. This technique enhances the flavour of the curry and is a tip I highly recommend.
  • Also, if you want a more gravy curry, use tomato puree.
  • To make the curry more flavorful, add store-bought chole masala.
  • Finally, when served hot and spicy, kala chana curry recipe tastes fantastic.

Suggestions for Serving

Serve the kala chana gravy warm with Indian breads such as Roti, Paratha, or Poori. Alternatively, serve it as a soup with some toasted bread. To soak up the delicious gravy, serve with soft dinner rolls.

Rice is another excellent accompaniment for kala chana. Use your favourite rice, whether it’s Basmati or another variety. Flavored rice recipes such as Jeera Rice (cumin rice) and Ghee Rice are some other options.


How long should black chana be soaked before cooking?

Preparation. Rinse the kala chana at least three times in a large bowl. Soak them in 4 to 6 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. After soaking, drain the water and thoroughly rinse them.

Why are chanas soaked before cooking?

They can be de-gassed by soaking them in water. Soaking will help to significantly reduce cooking time and save energy.

Can we cook chana without soaking it first?

No, you do not need to soak beans before cooking them. If you forget, you can simply begin cooking them, but they will take longer to cook than if you had soaked them first. If you don’t soak them first, it can take up to twice as long.

How many whistles are required to make a chickpea?

Fill your pressure cooker with a couple of inches of fresh water and add the soaked chickpeas. Cook on high pressure for 12-15 minutes (about 4-5 ‘whistles’ in a non-electric cooker).

How long does it take to cook chickpeas in the pressure cooker?

In a 7-quart pressure cooker, combine the water, chickpeas, and salt (the water should cover the chickpeas and come up to the 1/3 full line). Close and secure the lid. Bring to a boil over high heat for about 15 minutes.

Is it true that pressure cooking chickpeas removes lectins?

Cooking or soaking beans, on the other hand, destroys active lectins. However, most beans must be cooked for about an hour before they are edible. “Without presoaking, it takes 45 minutes in a pressure cooker to get rid of all lectins, but an hour to make kidney beans edible,” says Dr. Greger of NutritionFacts.

Is kala chana the same thing as chickpeas?

Chickpeas are classified into a few varieties. Kala chana (desi chana) is a smaller chickpea with a brown husk, whereas white chickpea (kabuli chana) is larger and has creamish-white husks. There are also chickpea varieties with green husks (hara chana) and dark black husks (hara chana) (a local rare variant).

How can I make my curry gravy thicker?

There are a few options for accomplishing this. First, after the pressure in the pressure cooker has been released, you can simmer the gravy and chickpeas without a lid. This will aid in the evaporation of some of the excess liquid.

Second, you can either mash or blend a ladle of chana. Return the mashed chickpeas to the gravy and reduce to a low heat. This will cause some of the starch in the gravy to dissolve, thickening the sauce.

Finally, add a tablespoon or two of roasted besan (or chickpea flour) to the mixture and stir well to combine.

Is it possible to make kala chana ahead of time?

Absolutely. This black chickpea curry will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.