Black chana masala / Kala chana masala


Black chana masala

Black channa or karuppu sundal in tamil is one of the best vegetarian protein source. Its rich in fibre and is great if you are looking for a healthy side dish to your weekday meal. Cooking black channa can be a bit tricky. Many will feel that it doesn’t cook well. The trick is to soak it well for 8-12 Hours and pressure cook until fully done. Some add cooking soda to it, i must agree it does help in cooking the channa through, my recipe below is sans cooking soda. tastes absolutely hearty and delicious with fluffy basmati rice or poori or chapatti. Now lets see how to make this yummy black channa curry.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Soaking time12 hrs
Course: brunch, dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, northindian
Keyword: dinner ideas, high protein, non veg recipes, vegan, vegetarian


  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup Black chana or black chick peas dry
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 2 cups Water adjust to desired consistency
  • 2 Tomatos Large,Pureed
  • 1 Onion Large, pureed
  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Red chilli powder adjust to desired spice level
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • tsp Chat masala or chole masala
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • Coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder for tadka
  • 1 tbsp oil for tadka
  • 1 tbsp salt to taste


  • Wash and soak the black channa in water for 8-12 hours or over night preferably to ensure the channa or chickpeas cooks well.
  • In a pressure cooker add oil, once its hot add in the cumin seeds. Wait for it crackle for a few seconds
  • Add in the onion paste , sauté until the onions turn slightly golden and brown. Add a little water if you find the onions burning. Remember not to brown them fully.
  • Next add in the ginger garlic paste, sauté well along with the onions
  • Add in masala powders, red chilli, coriander, cumin powder, salt. Sauté well until the masalas mix well with the onion and ginger garlic paste.
  • Next, add in the tomato puree, mix well cover and cook in medium flame until the tomatoes cook well and thickens slightly. (again ensure not to over thicken it)
  • Add in the Soaked black channa and mix well, add sufficient water, salt for the channa and pressure cook it for 6-7 whistles or until the channa/ chickpeas is cooked well. (*read notes)
  • Once the pressure is released, open the lid and stir it well. Remove about 3 tbsp of the cooked channa from the pressure cooker and blend it to a smooth paste and add it back to the curry. This helps in thickening the gravy a little more.
  • Put the pressure cooker back on the flame and add chat masala and add little more water and simmer for 10 mins, until you see oil slightly around the edges of the gravy.
  • Next its time to add the aromatic tadka to the gravy. In a small wok, add in oil for tadka, Slit green chillies once hot add in the red chilli powder for tadka and turn off the flame. Add the tadka on top of the channa masala prepared.
  • Transfer to your serving bowl and enjoy with rice or poori or roti.


  1. If after pressure cooking your channa is still not done fully, add a little water and pressure cook again for a couple of whistles so it cooks well.
    2. If you want to reduce the spice level avoid adding the green chillies in the last tadka step.



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