Kala Chana is very high in protein and provides a nutritional meal. It has a low glycemic index and is a good protein option for people with Diabetes. Kala Chana is a variation of the commonly found chickpea but it is dark brown in color and smaller in size. It is also known as Bengal gram.

This recipe will serve 6


1 cup kala chana
3 tablespoons oil
1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 green chili finely chopped
2 tablespoons coriander powder (dhania)
tablespoon turmeric (haldi)
teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
2 teaspoons salt adjust to taste
Approximately 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (hara dhania) to garnish

Wash and soak kala chana in approx. 4 cups of water, for at least 6 hours. The kala chana will double in volume after soaking.
In a small bowl mix ginger, green chili, coriander powder, turmeric, and chili powder with cup of water. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium high heat. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed and if it cracks immediately, the oil is ready for cooking.
Add cumin seeds and as they crack, add asafetida and gram flour. Stir for few seconds. Add the mixed spices (step 2) and stir for another minute.
Add soaked kala chana, and 4 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Close the cooker. As it starts steaming, turn down the heat to medium and cook for approx. 12 minutes. If your pressure cooker whistles then wait for 4-5 whistles.
Turn off the heat and wait until all the steam has released before opening the pressure cooker.
Add salt and slightly press down on the Kala Chana to thicken the gravy, let it cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat. You can always adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding more water. Simmer for a few minutes after adding the water.
Stir in lemon juice and cilantro, just before serving. This goes very well with plain rice and makes for a complete meal.

Kala Chana can also be prepared without a pressure cooker. Just remember to cook on medium heat for 50 minutes to an hour with the lid closed. Unlike other beans, Kala Chana holds its shape well even after cooking, so be sure to test if it has cooked all the way.