Kala Chana or Black Chickpea Curry

This is a homestyle traditional Punjabi dish. It’s heathy, tasty and easy to cook. Quite popular and versatile, it can be served for lunch or dinner with rice or Indian bread. The Kala Chana (Black Chickpea) is an ideal protein supplement for vegetarians being high in fiber and plant protein. Ideally you need to soak the chickpeas in water overnight as this is a whole gram and needs to be cooked properly. Make sure to wash well before cooking. The taste is flavourful as a result of the spices with a sour tangy taste sourced from the tomatoes. I have used grated onions, but one can do with finely chopped onions as well. Some recipes recommend use of diced potatoes, but I prefer to avoid it to retain the original taste of the Chickpea curry. Once you get a hang of this simple staple nutritious vegan curry, both you and your family will keep coming back for more. So happy Fooding Around with the Kala Chana Masala.



Kala Chana or Black Chickpea Curry

  • Author: Reetika Mitra
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins


Healthy and Homely



  • 1 cup or 200 gms Kala Chana ( Black Chickpea)
  • 3 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp Mustard Oil (Optional)
  • 2 medium Onion, grated or made into paste
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Paste
  • ½ Tsp Ginger Paste
  • 12 Green Chillies, finely chopped (according to spice intake)
  • 1 medium sized Tomato, diced small
  • 1/3rd Tsp Turmeric powder
  • ½ Tsp Red Chilli powder
  • ½ Tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ Tsp Cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups + 1.5 cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee
  • ½ Tsp Garam Masala powder
  • 1 Tbsp Kasoori Methi
  • 5 Tbsp Coriander Leaved, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice


  1. Wash the kala chanas and pressure cook them with 2 cups of water, a little salt and 1 tsp mustard oil (optional) for 2 whistle on the high and 6 – 8 mins on a sim till 90% cooked. Cool and open.
    If you have the time it is best to soak them in 2.5 cups of water overnight. As this is a whole gram and needs to be cooked properly, soaking overnight will definitely help.
  2. In a deep bottom pan heat 3 tbsp oil over medium flame. Add the 2 medium onion in either grated or paste form. Saute for couple of min before adding the green chillies, 1 tsp garlic and ½ Tsp ginger paste. Stir for a  3 -4 mins. Lower the flame to a medium-low before adding the  1/3rd  tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tspcumin powder,  the diced tomato and salt to taste.
  3. Stir and cook till the spices are done and oil comes out of the masala mix. Add the boiled lentil to the pan. Mix well and add 1.5 cups of water. Stir thoroughly and cover, simmer and cook for 4 -5 min.
  4. Open cover and add 1 tbsp ghee, ½ tsp garam masala powder, 1 tbsp kasoori methi, 1.5 tbsp coriander leaves. Lastly add 1 tbsp lime juice. Mix well, cover and cook on sim for 1 or 2 mins before switching off the flame.
  5. Serve hot along with steamed rice, jeera rice or any Indian breads accompanied by some pickles and/or salad of your liking.


Folks who are fond of potatoes can dice 1 large potato or 2 small potatoes into big pieces and add them in during the step 3. A lot of the kiddos and even adults enjoy the kala chana with some potatoes in it!!


  • Serving Size: 4


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