Kala Chana in Curry ( Black Grams in Curry)

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Kala Chana as in Black Grams is a staple dry bean in my pantry. I sprout it. I use it in salads. I boil and mince them and use in kebabs. Black gram flour is also available in the market also known famously as Missi Atta. I love using it in a mild curry. If you have noticed then my recipes are super easy and simple. There are hundreds of recipes online but I like to cook with ease and convenience. The daily meals should be tasty but not necessarily fancy and with lot of ingredients. This is one such recipe which fits the week day curry and not so fancy cooking but tasty and nutritious.

It is a close cousin to Chick peas or garbanzo. Actually, if I say that it is an Indian variant of chickpeas then it is right. Such a versatile dry bean and so rich in protein and fiber. It is a great source of phosphorous, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It has low fat and good carbohydrates. All in all, a super bean!

Serves : 4

Kitchen Equipments Required : Heavy bottom sauce pan with lid or pressure cooker, heavy bottom frying pan, stirring spoon, chopping board, knife

Ingredients :

Kala Chana / Black Gram : 1&1/2 cups

Water : 4 to 5 cups

Onion : 1/4 cup, finely chopped

Tomatoes : 3/4 cup, finely chopped

Ginger : 1 tsp finely chopped

Green chili : 1/2 tsp finely chopped

Cilantro leaves : 2 tbsp

Ghee / Oil : 2 tsp

Asafetida / hing : a pinch

Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp

Turmeric : 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder : 1 tbsp

Red chili powder : 1/4 to 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Garam masala : 1/2 tsp

Method :

Preparing the Kala Chana

  1. Wash and soak the kala chana / black gram in 2&1/2 cups of water, for 4-6 hrs. Use hot water for soaking if required. That would reduce the cooking time.

  2. Take the heavy bottom sauce pan. Add the soaked and drained grams to the sauce pan. Add 4 to 5 cups water to it. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame and cook for 1/2 an hour on lowest flame till it becomes really soft and mushy consistency.
    Note : You may pressure cook them too with 3 cups of water. After the first whistle, lower the flame and cook on simmer for 15-17 minutes. Switch off the flame. Set aside.

Making the curry base
My curries are quick and no long methods, especially on weekdays. But belie me they still taste awesome.

  1. Take the heavy bottom frying pan. Heat oil in it. Add cumin seeds and asafetida / hing to it. Reduce the flame and let the cumin seeds crackle.

  2. Add the finely chopped onions, ginger and chillies to it. SautΓ© for 4-5 minutes till the onions brown a bit.

  3. Add chopped tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder and salt to it. Stir well. Cook on low flame for 7-8 minutes , covered, till the purΓ©e comes together. Stir in between.
    The curry base is ready.

Putting it together

Add the boiled kala chana / black gram to the curry base. Add chopped cilantro/coriander leaves. Add salt to taste along with garam masala. Add water if required. We are looking for not very runny curry nor for a very thick gravy. So adjust accordingly. Cover with lid. Cook on simmer for 15 minutes. The kala chana curry is ready!

Serving Suggestions : It goes very well with rice, pilaf, roti, Khubz, or even any hearty rustic slice of bread. I can actually eat like a stew by itself.

Stay warm and stay healthy with this protein packed and soul warming curry.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hi Sonal, I am really into this dish because it’s got a lot of things I’m eating right now, namely chickpeas, which I could be calling chana or gram, right? The sprouted ones I got at my market this week along with the sprouted mung beans are sooooo tasty and fresh and snappy and healthy and I love just snacking on them out of my hand, but they are also, as you point out, delicious in curries and stuff. Yum! It kinda looks like you have some delicious bacon on top too, but I know that’s not right! I have to tell you that I have not used your marinade mix yet but the curry melange not only has tasted WAY WAY better than the Whole Foods brand I have, but it smells just enchanting! Thank you so much!!!

    1. Thanks so mych for your review on my curry melange Sue! I knew I would get some honest feedback from you since you know the indian cuisine pretty well ! That’s a huge compliment. I am going commercial with it soon, i hope!
      The chana i have used here is petite in size and dark brown in color as compared to chickpeas but the same family. There is nothing better than sprouts. They are just superb and power food. The thing on the top is tomatoes and not bacon ;)….

      1. I just mentioned the curry melange in passing as an ingredient, and am scheduled to do a post where I actually talk about it together with the marinade, in 2 weeks! Thanks Sonal and good luck going commercial!.