Black Chana or Kala Chana is not a very common garbanzo beans that can be easily found in the US. The only place I know of are the Asian Markets. The best way to describe the Black Chana is that it’s the darker skinny version of the garbanzo bean. If you can sense my humor there. Skinny is on my mind.

It has a higher protein content and according to Wikipedia has a lower glycemic index and is good for people with diabetics.

The curry made with these beans most of the times is very similar to the Red Kidney Beans Curry found in Indian restaurants. But this recipes is a much drier version of the chana. Unfortunately for the Spicy Black Chana recipe I had to do it the long way no shortcuts as you can not buy them canned. It just takes time but it is super easy.

Soaked Black or Kala Beans over night











Instructions To Soak The Black Beans:

  • Wash and soak 2 cups ofΒ Black Chana over-night in 8 cups of water add 2 tbsp of salt.



  • Approx 4 cups of black channa soaked overnight.
  • 1 larger onion chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp of xacuti spice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro chopped fine
  • Salt to taste

Direction to boil Black Chana:

  • In a large pot add the soaked black chana add 8 cups of water and cook on medium heat for 90 minutes till soft. Check occasionally and stir. Drain and keep aside.


Directions for Spicy Black Chana:

  • Heat oil in a big pan, add the chopped onions and saute for just about a 2 minutes on medium heat. Do not soften the onions too much you want a bit of the crunch.
  • Next add the tomato paste and xacuti spice mix saute for about 2 minutes. Add the black chana, water and salt to taste. Saute and cook covered for 20 minutes till the water almost dries out.
  • Finish by adding the fresh chopped cilantro.


Serve it with rice or bread. It works with a vegan, vegetarian diet.

If you have leftovers no worries make a quick mid-morning snack or vibrant salad for lunch. Stuffed halved sweet peppers top it with plain yogurt and freshly chopped cilantro. I truly enjoyed it both ways.