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Black Chickpea Curry

Kala Chana Masala ( Black chickpeas curry)

Jyoti Behrani
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
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine North Indian
Servings 4



  • 1 cup dried Kala chana, soaked overnight or a minimum of 4 hours
  • 2 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green chili, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon Jeera [Cumin Seeds] 
  • 1 Tej Patta [Bay Leaf]
  • 1/8 teaspoon hing [asafetida]
  • 2 whole green cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, adjust to taste
  • salt to taste




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


  • You will need an Instant Pot
  • Drain the water from the soaked black chickpeas, rinse and keep it aside.
  • Turn on SAUTE (more). When the pot displays “HOT”, add oil. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, whole green cardamom, and chopped onions. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or the onions are translucent.
  • Add chopped garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped tomato, ginger, and green chili. Dry spices – coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, dried mango powder. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or the 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 a vent in sealing position.
  • Turn on PRESSURE COOK (high) for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally, around 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually.
  • Open the Instant pot, and check if the beans are soft and cooked. If required, add a few minutes of pressure cooking.
  • Turn on SAUTE (more), and add garam masala, and lemon juice.
  • Note: Simmer for a few minutes or to the desired thickness. The sauce thickens as it cools.
  • Garnish with some fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice, roti, or paratha.


  • 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. The rest of the recipe is the same as Instant pot.


Please refer to the post earlier for the following:
  1. Tips For The Best Kala Chana
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
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