Black Chana Masala

Black Chana Masala/ Kadalekaalu curry is a delicious, traditional south Indian dish. The main ingredient of this curry is of course kala chana/black chickpeas, that is soaked overnight and pressured cooked in a tomato base along with other vegetables and spices.

Black chickpeas are a good source of protein and have other nutritional benefits. Adding these protein rich, fiber loaded lentils in our daily diet keeps us feeling fuller for a long time. And I think there is no better way to incorporate these lentils than in a delicious and flavorful black chana masala. This curry goes perfectly well with steamed rice or roti. If you are ghee lover like me, try steamed rice-black chana curry with a dollop of ghee and let me know how you like it? 😉

Prep time: 10 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 10 hours 20 minutes
Serves: 4


1 cup black chana(Black chickpeas), soaked overnight
3 cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green chilli, slit into half
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1.5 tablespoons sambar powder
Tomato paste, of 2 large tomatoes
1 medium potato, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon garam masala(optional)
Coriander leaves, chopped
Salt to taste

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pressure cooker on low-medium flame.
  2. Once hot, crackle mustard seeds. Then saute ginger, garlic, green chilli, chopped onion until soft.
  3. Add turmeric powder, sambar powder, and sauté on low heat for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure to not burn the masala powders.
  4. Pour in freshly ground tomato paste, stir well and cook for a minute.
  5. Add potato cubes and black chana. Fry them for a minute.
  6. Pour 3 cups of water, add garam masala (optional) and salt to taste. Stir everything well and let the mixture come to a boil. At this point check for salt & spice, adjust if required.
  7. Pressure cook on medium heat until black chickpeas is tender (usually 6-7 whistles are sufficient).
  8. Let cooker depressurize. If necessary, add more water to adjust consistency of the curry.
  9. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve with hot rice or roti.
Black Chana Masala
  • You can tweak the quantity of each ingredient as per your taste and preference
  • To expedite cooking time, soak black chickpeas for 10-15 hours.
  • Black chana masala can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Did you try this recipe? Let me know how you liked it! 🙂

Rating: 1 out of 5.

You can also tag your food recreations of this recipe on my Instagram @swaadista and using #SwaadistaRecipes

Happy cooking and happy eating ❤

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