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Kala Chana Masala / Black Chickpeas Curry – Instant Pot, Stove Top

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Kala chana masala or black chickpeas curry, is a popular dish from North Indian cuisine. Black chickpeas are simmered in an onion, tomato base sauce and some aromatic Indian spices. Enjoy this flavorful, excellent protein rich curry over steamed white rice or some naan. This recipe is VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE

 

 

WHAT IS KALA CHANA (BLACK CHICKPEAS)

Kala chana, or black chickpeas, is a legume, commonly grown around the world. It belongs to the chickpea family, and varies in color from brown to black in color. When kala chana is harvested they are green in color when picked early, and vary in color from beige to tan, and from brown in color to black depending upon the time they are harvested. Kala chana is smaller in size as compared to garbanzo beans ( chickpeas ).

We all enjoy this simple, yet nutritious preparation of curry made with kala chana, rich in protein and fiber. I remember, sometimes my mom used to also add some greens to make it more healthy and delicious. I love kala chana with steamed white rice and some roti on the side.

WHAT IS KALA CHANA MASALA (BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY)

Kala chana masala, also known as black chickpeas curry, is a popular dish from northern state of Punjab, India. Typically, kala chana is soaked overnight, boiled, and simmered in onion, tomato based sauce, along with some aromatic Indian spices, until all the flavors are incorporated well into the curry. The preparation of kala chana is quite similar to Lobia Masala ( Black eyed peas curry). However, kala chana takes little longer to cook than lobia.

I am sharing my recipe for Kala chana masala. I love to cook kala chana masala in Instant pot. You can use soaked or dry beans to make this curry. Please refer to the recipe card, at the end of the post for complete ingredients list and detailed, step-by-step recipe.

SOAKING KALA CHANA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS )

I prefer to soak kala chana overnight or minimum of 4 hours prior to cooking. Soaking the beans not only reduces the cooking time but it also enhances the taste and flavor of Kala chana masala. I remember my mom always use to soak beans for good reasons prior to cooking.

Soaking beans before cooking helps to break down some of the complex sugars that can make beans hard for some people to digest. Soaking the beans prior to cooking also reduces cooking times.

Soaking the beans also cleans them more thoroughly (since beans cannot be washed before being sold or they can turn moldy). Soak beans in enough water overnight or for few hours, discard the water the beans are soaked in, and rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking.

Cooking beans can be very tricky at times. Depending upon the quality of the beans, if it is aged (old), it might take longer to cook even though it is soaked overnight.

Pic Shown: Kala Chana Masala ( Black Chickpeas Curry )

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY)

1 cup DRIED KALA CHANA, soaked overnight or minimum 4 hours

2 cups water for pressure cooking

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium tomato, chopped

1 green chili, adjust to taste

1/2 inch ginger, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon CUMIN SEEDS (Jeera)

1 BAY LEAF (Tej patta)

1/8 teaspoon ASAFOETIDA (Hing)

2 WHOLE GREEN CARDAMON

1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 lemon Freshly squeezed lemon juice, adjust to taste

salt to taste

DRY SPICES

2 teaspoon CORIANDER POWDER

1/2 teaspoon RED CHILI POWDER, adjust to taste

1/2 teaspoon TURMERIC POWDER

1/2 teaspoon DRIED MANGO POWDER (Amchur powder)

1 teaspoon GARAM MASALA, adjust to taste

FOR GARNISH

Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Pic Shown: Kala Chana Masala ( Black Chickpeas Curry )

 

HOW TO MAKE KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

Preparing for Kala chana masala( Black chickpeas curry ) is very easy, the only preparation involved in this recipe is the soaking time. I prefer soaking beans overnight or minimum of 4 hours. I believe soaking the beans not only reduces the cooking time but also enhances the flavors.

There are couple of ways you can make this Kala chana masala, black chickpeas can be boiled first and then slow cooked in onion, tomato gravy or you can make it as a one pot, which is what I am going to do today.

In India, pressure cooker is used to cook the beans. I remember my mom always used a pressure cooker to cook beans. It is so easy and convenient to cook beans in a pressure cooker. I love to cook beans in Instant Pot, it is so convenient.

Pic Shown: Kala Chana Masala ( Black Chickpeas Curry )

 

 

 

PREP FOR KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

Soak the dried black chickpeas ( kala chana ) overnight or minimum of 4 hours.

Chop all the veggies – onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, keep it aside.

Pic Shown: Left – dried black chickpeas, Right – black chickpeas soaked overnight

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSTANT POT KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

You will need INSTANT POT

Drain the water from the soaked black chickpeas, rinse and keep it aside.

Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high), add oil, cumin seeds, bay leaf, whole green cardamon, chopped onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

Add chopped garlic, saute for 30 seconds.

 

 

Add chopped tomato, ginger, green chili. Dry spices – coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, dried mango powder. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.

Note: Add garam masala after pressure cooking the beans.

 

 

Add beans, baking soda, water, and salt to taste. Close the lid with vent on sealing position.

Turn on Instant Pot to Manual / Pressure cook (high) for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.

 

 

Open the Instant pot, check if the beans are soft and cooked. If required, add few minutes of pressure cooking.

Turn on Saute mode (more), add garam masala, lemon juice.

Note: Simmer for few minutes or until desired thickness. Sauce thickens as it cools.

Garnish with some fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice, roti or paratha.

Pic Shown: Instant Pot Kala Chana Masala ( Black Chickpeas Curry )

 

FOR STOVE TOP KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

Follow the recipe as discussed. Close the pressure cooker, after the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant pot.

Pic Shown: Instant Pot Kala Chana Masala ( Black Chickpeas Curry )

 

 

 

PRO TIPS FOR BEST KALA CHANA MASALA (BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY)

SOAKING KALA CHANA – I prefer to soak beans overnight or minimum of 4 hours prior to cooking. Soaking the beans not only reduces the cooking time but it also enhances the taste and flavor of Black Chickpeas Curry. If using dry beans instead of soaked, double the cooking time.

SAUCE OR GRAVY – Onion paste or chopped onions, both work fine in this recipe. However, if using the onion paste, cook the paste down. Beans absorb flavors from the sauce, so depending upon how flavorful the sauce is, the Black chickpeas curry will turn out.

FRESH OR CANNED TOMATOES – I use both fresh or canned tomatoes, depending upon the availability. With canned tomatoes, the sauce turns bright in color.

COOKING TIME – The quality of the beans, the water used for cooking also affects the cooking time. Please use timing as a guideline, adjust the cooking time as needed.

CANNED I SKIP BAKING SODA – Though, baking soda is optional, I find using just a pinch of it helps soften the chickpeas. However, if you prefer, you can skip baking soda, increase the cooking time by 15 minutes.

FAQ ABOUT KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

FORGOT TO SOAK BEANS, CAN I STILL MAKE BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY

Yes, absolutely you can. Soak the beans in hot water for 45-60 minutes, covered. After 60 minutes, discard the water beans are soaked in, rinse beans with fresh water and they are ready to be used in the recipe.

CAN I STORE / FREEZE BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY

Kala chana masala ( Black chickpeas curry ) stays good for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

You can freeze black chickpeas curry for up to a month. Defrost, reheat and serve.

HOW TO SERVE BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY

Black chickpeas curry is typically served over steamed white rice (chawal), some yogurt, and some onion salad.

It pairs well with GOBI ALOO (CAULIFLOWER CURRY) as a side dish and some homemade roti (Indian flatbread).

Pic Shown: Kala Chana Masala (  Black chickpeas curry )

 

 

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Kala Chana Masala ( Black chickpeas curry)

Kala chana masala or black chickpeas curry, is a popular dish from North Indian cuisine. Black chickpeas are simmered in an onion, tomato base sauce and some aromatic Indian spices. Enjoy this flavorful, excellent protein rich curry over steamed white rice or some naan. This recipe is VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE
Course Main Course
Cuisine North Indian
Keyword kala chana,kala chana masala,punjabi kala chana,black chickpeas curry,instant pot kala chana,chana masala
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  DRIED KALA CHANA, soaked overnight or minimum 4 hours
  • 2 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 green chili, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon CUMIN SEEDS ( Jeera )
  • 1 BAY LEAF (Tej patta)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ASAFOETIDA (Hing)
  • 2 WHOLE GREEN CARDAMON
  • 1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 lemon Freshly squeezed lemon juice, adjust to taste
  • salt to taste

DRY SPICES

FOR GARNISH

  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

PREP FOR KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

  • Soak the dried black chickpeas ( kala chana ) overnight or minimum of 4 hours.
  • Chop all the veggies – onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, keep it aside.

INSTANT POT KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

  • You will need INSTANT POT
  • Drain the water from the soaked black chickpeas, rinse and keep it aside.
  • Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high), add oil, cumin seeds, bay leaf, whole green cardamon, chopped onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  • Add chopped garlic, saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped tomato, ginger, green chili. Dry spices – coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, dried mango powder. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.
  • Add beans, baking soda, water, and salt to taste. Close the lid with vent on sealing position.
  • Turn on Instant Pot to Manual / Pressure cook (high) for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.
  • Open the Instant pot, check if the beans are soft and cooked. If required, add few minutes of pressure cooking.
  • Turn on Saute mode (more), add garam masala, lemon juice.
    Note: Simmer for few minutes or until desired thickness. Sauce thickens as it cools.
  • Garnish with some fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice, roti or paratha.

STOVE TOP KALA CHANA MASALA ( BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY )

  • Follow the recipe as discussed. Close the pressure cooker, after the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant pot.

Notes

Please refer to the post earlier for the following:
  1. PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY
  2. FAQ ABOUT BLACK CHICKPEAS CURRY

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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