Looking back, it’s easy to see why our mom made this dish often. It is a super filling and healthy vegetarian dinner that’s quick to prepare!
If you’ve never had kala chana, they are also known as black chickpeas. They are denser and nuttier than the more well known garbanzo beans. While they do soften after soaking in water and cooking they don’t absorb much liquid and can feel harder than other lentils that easily smash once they are cooked. This unique texture does make them “meaty” and very filling!
This particular recipe is mildly spiced and focuses on the natural flavor of the chana. The turmeric, chili powder and coriander create a little heat while the water and chickpea flour form a thin gravy to lightly coat the chana. The lemon juice and jaggery at the end add an element of sweet and sour and the cilantro brings in freshness.
If you’re looking for a quick and healthy vegetarian meal, this is it!
Easy Button: Our mom keeps boiled chana frozen so she can skip right to step 4 when making dinner.
Pairs With: Basmati Rice, Gujarati Kadhi, Roti or Paratha
Serving Size: Makes 2 servings
- 3/4 cup dry kala chana (black chickpeas)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- salt (to taste, we used 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp jaggery (can substitute brown sugar)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Soak the kala chana over night (at least 8hrs), make sure the chana are completely covered in water
- Drain the kala chana and place them in the Instant Pot (IP) and add in 3 cups of water and set the IP setting to pressure cook for 10 minutes with the vent in sealing position
- When the IP finishes, let the pressure release naturally – if the pin does not drop in 20 minutes you can release the pressure manually and open the instant pot and drain the kala chana and set aside
- Turn the IP to sauté mode and add in olive oil and mustard seeds, cook for about 2 minutes until you hear the mustard seeds popping
- Add in the chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt and cook for 1 minute
- Add in the chickpea flour and cook for another minute, stir constantly so the flour doesn’t burn
- Add in 1 cup of water and the cooked kala chana and set the IP setting to pressure cook for 10 minutes with the vent in sealing position
- You can let the pressure release naturally or manually
- Set the IP to sauté mode and add in jaggery (or brown sugar), lemon juice and chopped cilantro and cook for 2 mins (taste and adjust salt if needed) – the sauce will thicken as it sits so don’t worry if it looks a little watery!