Kala Chana (Curried Black Chickpeas)


Kala Chana (Curried Black Chickpeas)

Curried kala chana with basmati rice is the ultimate comfort food in my house, everyone loves it! Kala chana is from the chickpea family but is a smaller bean with a rough outer covering that is blackish/brownish. They’re super-hearty with high fiber content and a low glycemic index, but they take a long time to cook and so I like to soak them for a few hours then cook them in a pressure cooker or instant pot.  

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Servings: 4


  • 1 cup brown chana
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion (medium, diced)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
  • 5 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups tomatoes (medium, blended)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Cilantro (chopped, for garnish)


  1. Wash brown chana and soak for 4 hours or overnight in 3 cups of water. They will increase in size when they are soaked. 

  2. Start an instant pot in sauté mode and let heat, then add oil and cumin seeds.

  3. When cumin seeds start to splutter, add chopped onion, ginger, and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes.  

  4. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend well.  

  5. Add blended tomatoes and spices, then stir and sauté for another 2 minutes.

  6. Drain soaking water from chickpeas, then add chickpeas and 2 cups fresh water to instant pot.

  7. Change the instant pot setting to manual mode for 45 minutes.

  8. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. 

  9. Open the instant pot and add lemon juice, stirring well.

  10. Garnish with cilantro and serve with cooked basmati rice.


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