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aerial shot of kala chana masala in a white ceramic bowl
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5 from 1 vote

Kala Chana Recipe

This kala chana recipe is a pressure cooker-friendly one-pot wonder. A spicy, vegetarian Indian curry without onion and garlic.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Hina Gujral


  • 2 Cup Black Chickpeas (kala chana)

Ingredients To Make Paste:

  • 1 Cup chopped tomato
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger

Other Ingredients:

  • Cup mustard oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (see recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur)
  • 1 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 Cup water


  • Clean, rinse, and soak black chana overnight or for 5 - 6 hours in water.
  • Meanwhile, make a paste of tomato with ginger and green chili in a blender.
    tomato paste
  • Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker till it starts smoking. Reduce the heat to low. Add bay leaf, black cardamom, and cumin seeds, Saute for a minute to release the aroma of the spices
    frying masala in a pressure cooker
  • Once cumin is roasted add tomato paste along with salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Fry the masala over low heat till oil separates.
    frying masala in a pressure cooker
  • Drain water from the soaked chana. Add them to the pressure cooker. Mix nicely to combine all the ingredients. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes.
    making chana masala in a pressure cooker
  • Add 1 – 2 Cups of water. Stir to combine. Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Put the whistle. Cook kala chana over low heat for 15 minutes or 3 – 4 whistle. Turn off the heat.
    making chana masala in a pressure cooker
  • Let the steam release naturally from the pressure cooker. Check chana for doneness. It should soft and mushy. Taste and add more seasoning if required. Slightly mash the chana with the back of the ladle.
  • Add mango powder, garam masala, and dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi). Stir to combine. Cook for a minute over the flame. Garnish with coriander, ginger, and green chili.
    making chana masala in a pressure cooker
  • Serve Kale Chane warm with poori and raita.


  • If channa is soaked, it does not take more than 15 – 20 minutes to get cooked.
  • Adjust the quantity of water as per the gravy required. I prefer semi-dry chana masala. Hence, I add only 2 cups of water. If the chana masala seems too thick you can add more water once it is cooked. 
  • Instead of mustard oil, you can use ghee, refined oil, or coconut oil to cook chana masala. 
  • This is a moderately spicy chana masala recipe. Hence, adjust the quantity of green chili and spices accordingly.
  • You can store the leftover chana masala in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 days. Reheat in a microwave or stovetop before serving. 


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 846mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 496IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 5mg