Spice up the Curry

Kala Chana Curry Recipe (Black Chickpeas Curry)

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Kala Chana Curry Recipe (Black Chickpeas Curry Recipe)

The recipe of Kala chana curry is very easy to make. This is my mother-in-laws recipe. I have never eaten this curry before marriage. But after marriage, my husband always asks me to make black chickpeas curry with tomato gravy just like his mom’s style. Then I got this recipe from my dear mother-in-law over the phone. I made it as she said and my hubby was happy with results and even I loved this curry. As my in-laws are jain, they don’t eat onion-garlic and ginger. But I added some ginger and modified recipe little bit. If you want to make it pure jain recipe, just skip ginger. It will still taste very good.

Kala Chana Curry Recipe (Black Chickpeas Curry Recipe)

This tomato gravy is little sour in taste which blends very well with kala chana or desi chana. Gravy becomes sour from tomatoes and little bit more from aamchur powder (dried mango powder). And believe me; it gives nice flavor to dish. Thanks to my mother-in-law cum my mom for this delicious recipe. So let’s see how to make it.

Adapted from – “My mother-in-laws Recipes Notebook”

5 from 1 reviews
Kala Chana Curry Recipe (Black Chickpeas Curry Recipe)
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine – Indian Recipe category – Main Dish, Beans, Curry Skill level – very easy/beginner
Yield: 2 generous servings
For puree
  • • Tomatoes – 2 medium
  • • Green chilies – 2
  • • Ginger – ½ inch piece
Other Ingredients
  • • Kala Chana (dry) – ¾ cup
  • • Oil – 1 ½ tablespoons
  • • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • • Besan (Chickpea flour) – 1 tablespoon
  • • Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  • • Red chili powder – 2 teaspoons
  • • Garam masala – ½ teaspoon
  • • Aamchur powder (Dry mango powder) – 1 teaspoon
  • • Salt – to taste
  • • Water – 2 ¼ and some more as needed for gravy
  • • Cilantro – few sprigs, chopped finely for garnishing
  1. Wash kala chana under running water.
  2. Soak in enough water for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. To boil chana, discard soaked water and transfer soaked chana in pressure cooker, add 1 ½ cups of water. Close pressure cooker put the weight on. Cook it on high for 2 whistles then lower the heat to medium - low and cook it for another 30 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the pressure go by itself.
  4. While chana is boiling, take two tomatoes, green chilies and ginger piece and chop them roughly.
  5. Grind it into smooth paste and keep it aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle.
  7. Then add besan (Chickpea flour) and stir continuously.
  8. Cook it for few minutes (about 2 minutes). You will get nice aroma of besan and raw smell will go away. Stir continuously while cooking besan.
  9. Then add tomato puree. Mix it well.
  10. Add coriander powder and red chili powder.
  11. Mix it well. Let it come to a boil.
  12. Cook tomato puree till all the moisture from puree will evaporate and oil starts leave from the sides of the pan.
  13. Then add garam masala, aamchur powder and salt.
  14. Mix it well and cook it for a minute.
  15. Then add boiled chana with water.
  16. Mix it well.
  17. If you want more gravy than add some more water. And let the gravy come to a boil. And let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  18. Finally garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve hot.
Additional Info
Taste – sour, mild spicy

Shelf life – it stays fresh up to 4-5 days in refrigerator in air tight container after it cools completely. You can freeze it for 2 weeks.

Serving suggestions – You can serve this delicious curry with any Indian flat bread (like roti, paratha, naan). Even my family loves to have this with some plain rice as a dinner. You can serve this with jeera rice also.

Tips -

- If you want to save some time then you can boil chana ahead of time and freeze it. Whenever you want to make this curry, just make gravy and use defrosted boiled chana.

- For quick soaking chana method: wash chana under running cold water. Then add enough water to it. Put on high heat and let the water come to boil then let it boil for 5 minutes and turn off the stove. Let the chana sit covered for 1 hour. Then boil in pressure cooker as directed.

We usually enjoy this kala chana curry with some plain rice. And some time we have it with plain paratha. Now choice is yours, how you like to serve it to your family.

Kala Chana Curry Recipe (Black Chickpeas Curry Recipe)

Categorized under Beans, Curries, Dals / Beans, Gujarati, Healthy Recipes, Nuts Free, Other, Vegan

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  • NKhan October 3, 2014, 5:38 am

    Thanks for the lovely recipe. I am definitely going to try this. Just a cooking question. Most other recipes on various websites mention use of onion in the preparation of Kala Chana and it occurred to me that you have not used it in your recipe.

    Will it make any difference in the taste?

    • Kanan October 3, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Yes Most people make this kala chana Punjabi style and it uses basic Punjabi onion-tomato gravy. While I made it Gujarati style with besan and tomato gravy. Both will have different taste and flavors.

  • Pooja August 27, 2014, 4:46 am

    As paryushan are going on I was looking for the receipe for Kala chana and that’s how reached ur blog. They turned out just awesome..

    • Kanan August 27, 2014, 3:27 pm

      Nice to hear that you liked the recipe. I also made this yesterday as my family also following Paryushan.

  • pavankumar reddy June 21, 2014, 2:09 pm

    I liked the way of representation found very easy
    i was cooking for first time liked it the most thank u

    • Kanan June 21, 2014, 2:45 pm

      Nice to know that you liked it. Thank you Pavankumar

  • hema May 21, 2014, 1:54 pm

    I was browsing and came across your blog. You have tempted me to try too many recipes from your list. I am going to try them one by one. One suggestion with the kala chana that i learnt from a friend, that you may like – instead of cooking the chana separately, try to make the tomato masala and then add soaked chana to it and then pressure cook. Also grind a handful of soaked chana and add to it before cooking. Makes a big difference…and also saves you a step in cooking. this way all the flavors are soaked into the chana.

    • Kanan May 21, 2014, 4:44 pm

      Thank you Hema, I have never heard of this process. Good to know some new things. :)

  • Sushma Mandappa May 6, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Thank you… Loved ur recipe.. Came out really good..

    • Kanan May 6, 2014, 1:59 pm

      glad to know you like it.

  • chandan November 25, 2013, 1:12 pm

    Thanks…even a beginner like me can try dis.

  • sajida nasreen October 18, 2013, 4:04 am

    nice recepe I have tried it is delicious

    • Kanan October 18, 2013, 11:17 am

      Happy to know that curry came out delicious.

  • Raman October 16, 2013, 7:12 am

    Is turmeric not needed for this recipe???

    • Kanan October 16, 2013, 12:11 pm

      nope. if you want you can add 1/4 teaspoon. it won’t make any big difference. only color might look different.

  • Jef August 14, 2013, 9:30 pm

    Do you need a pressure cooker? Cook longer?

    • Kanan August 14, 2013, 10:37 pm

      if you cook in a pressure cooker then it will cook faster. but you can also cook in open pot with lots of water, but it takes almost an hour or more than an hour, not sure because I have never cooked this way. you need to check in between to make sure that water is enough, if needed you can add some more water and let it simmer on medium heat till chana is cooked.

  • faiqa abrar August 11, 2013, 10:41 am

    very delicious but in pakistan my mom just cook kala chana with shorba ………. a have seen kala chaana kari fr the 1st time . i am going to try this fr my brothers and sisters ……….hope they will like it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thanks fr sharing this recipie

    • Kanan August 11, 2013, 3:25 pm

      Hope your brothers and sisters like this curry. :)

  • Sapna Hirani June 7, 2013, 6:12 pm

    This is the best kala Chana I have ever made and tasted!! Thank you so much :)

    • Kanan June 7, 2013, 6:17 pm

      Glad that you liked it. Thanks for your feedback.

  • parvathy tumuluru March 9, 2013, 5:01 pm

    looks yummy. will definitely try.

    • Kanan March 10, 2013, 2:46 am

      Thanks Parvathy. do try it and let us know how you like it.

  • Princess March 9, 2013, 6:09 am

    Thnx so much… Em going to try this….

  • Princess March 8, 2013, 7:54 pm

    how many person can be served in your recipe’s mentioned ingrediants

    • Kanan March 8, 2013, 8:02 pm

      Hi Princess, it serves 2 persons generously (means curry+rice or curry+roti/paratha only). it is also mentioned in the recipe, you can see it right below the print button.

      • Princess March 9, 2013, 6:08 am

        Thnx so much… Em going to try this….

  • Divya Pramil December 31, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Curry looks delicious :)

  • cooking varieties December 23, 2012, 3:29 pm

    hi dear, looks very delicious. i have never seen or eaten black chickpeas before.
    must try look out for it at the supermarket. how have you been doing? have a nice day

  • rachana December 20, 2012, 9:35 am

    i like ur prsentation and i definately try it.

  • maha December 16, 2012, 1:30 am

    super awesum dish.never feels bore to have vth rotis.
    BTW Iam back to blogging..plz visit my space n if gets sum time check out my new FB page dear.Thanks in advance..

  • swati December 14, 2012, 5:43 am

    oh my god! i can so relate to this recipe, have been making channas since ages. it looks yum and the pic by pic recipe is such a good help!

  • Runnergirlinthekitchen December 11, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Nice curry recipe, my curry recipe had dry coconut or then I make a dry version of this! Looks yummm , love the colour of the dish Kanan

  • anthony stemke December 9, 2012, 11:09 pm

    I love this recipe. I love most kinds of beans/lentils and this one too.

  • Sanoli Ghosh December 5, 2012, 9:25 am

    Very luscious recipe with simple ingredients. Bookmarked dear.

  • Rumana December 5, 2012, 4:33 am

    This is looking so delicious and perfect with rice..

  • Priya December 4, 2012, 8:38 pm

    Very tempting and nutritious curry..Excellent dish.

  • CJ at Food Stories December 4, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Looks like a great recipe that I would like to try – I’ve never found black chickpeas locally so I’ll probably have to order some in :-)

    • Kanan December 5, 2012, 1:30 pm

      hey CJ. you can buy black chickpeas (Kala chana) online too.

      • Princess March 8, 2013, 7:58 pm

        how many person can be served in your recipe’s mentioned ingrediants