Delicious kala chana curry is made using black chickpeas and a blend of aromatic spices. This one-pot dish can be made using pantry staples that are easy to find, making it a perfect choice for a simple weeknight dinner or a tasty lunch option. Serve this authentic home-style kala chana curry with basmati rice, aloo paratha, or roti for a comforting meal.
Why you will love this recipe?
- This curry is made with a blend of aromatic spices that create a deep and complex flavor.
- This curry can be served with a variety of accompaniments, such as rice, roti, naan, or paratha (like mooli paratha or peas paratha). It can also be made ahead of time and reheated, making it an excellent option for busy weeknights.
- This recipe is easy to make and requires basic ingredients and spices that are readily available.
Ingredients and Substitutes
Kala chana: Also called black chickpeas or brown chickpeas, this is the main ingredient of this kala chana curry. You can also make this dish using regular chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
Spices: Bay leaves, cumin seeds, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala. If you don't have all the ground spices handy, substitute them with 1-1.5 tablespoons of curry powder.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Sukhe kale chane: "Sukhe" means dry, and this dish recipe is made by simmering boiled black chickpeas with ghee/oil and spices. This is a common fasting food made during Navratri.
No onion, no garlic kala chana: Skip the onions and garlic in this recipe and cook the spices in tomatoes. You can make it similar to this no-onion-garlic chickpea curry.
Use other beans: Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), black-eyed peas, and cannellini beans work very well with this dish. Make sure to adjust the cooking time. If you are using canned beans, the pressure cooking time remains the same for all.
Kala chana curry step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Wash the chickpeas thoroughly and pour fresh water. Soak them for 4-6 hours. You can also soak them overnight (image 1).
Step 2: Set
Step 3: Add the canned tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes), ground turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, sugar, and salt. Mix well and saute for 2-3 minutes (images 3 and 4).
Step 5: Add the soaked kala chana to the onion-tomato gravy along with 3 cups of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot (images 5 and 6).
Step 6: Secure the
Step 7: Top with garam masala, cilantro, and lemon juice. Mix well (image 8).
Soak the kala chana overnight or for at least 8 hours before cooking. This will help the chickpeas cook faster and more evenly. If you have not planned ahead, follow the table below to adjust the cooking time.
For a creamier texture, blend a portion of the cooked chickpeas with the gravy before adding them back to the pot.
This dish is great for meal prep and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Kala chana curry also freezes well and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Cool it completely and store it in an airtight container.
Adjusting Cooking times for kala chana
Here is a guide to adjusting the cooking time for black chickpeas depending on the soaking time. The mode selected is Pressure Cook, and the pressure release technique is 10 minutes of natural pressure release (NPR).
What to serve with black chickpea curry?
Plain or flavored rice: Steamed basmati rice is a classic accompaniment to Indian curries, including kala chana curry. You can use white rice or brown rice, depending on your preference. This dish pairs well with cumin-flavored rice or jeera rice.
Naan bread: Naan is perfect for soaking up the rich sauce of kala chana masala. You can also serve other types of bread, such as roti or chapati.
It is recommended to soak kala chana overnight or for at least 4-6 hours before cooking to reduce cooking time and aid digestion. However, it is possible to cook them without soaking them as well. See the chart above to adjust the cooking times.
Yes, kala chana curry can be made ahead of time and reheated later. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for longer storage.
Yes, canned kala chana can be used in the recipe, but the cooking time will be much shorter as the beans are already cooked. See the table above for cooking times.
More recipes using black chickpeas
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Kala Chana Curry (Black Chickpea Curry)
Soaking the black chickpeas:
- Wash the chickpeas thoroughly and pour fresh water. Soak them for 4-6 hours. You can also soak them overnight.
- Once they are soaked, drain all the water from them and set them aside.
Making the curry:
- Set Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil. Once it heats, add cumin seeds and bay leaf.
- Once the cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add ginger, garlic, and green chili. Saute for one minute.
- Add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the canned tomatoes, ground turmeric, red chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, sugar, and salt. Mix well and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the soaked chickpeas along with 3 cups of water. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
- Secure the Instant Pot and set the vent to the sealing position. Put it in Bean/Chili for 20 minutes.
- Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Carefully open the lid.
- Top with garam masala, cilantro, and lemon juice. Mix well and serve.