Spicy Black Chana

30 May

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.



23 Responses to “Spicy Black Chana”

  1. PT May 31, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    This looks delicious – tanks for this recipe! Love and bubbles, PT xxx

    • Nandini May 31, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks PT appreciate it much πŸ™‚

  2. Aruna Panangipally May 31, 2014 at 4:31 am #

    I loved the way you used the chana with bell peppers!

    • Nandini May 31, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Thanks much Aruna πŸ™‚ it was a very random pairing and it tasted good when I eat it for my lunch.

  3. Dimple@shivaaydelights May 31, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Looks delicious!

    • Nandini May 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      Thanks Much Dimple πŸ™‚

  4. Chitra Jagadish June 1, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    Very creative recipe Nandini..

    • Nandini June 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Thanks you very much Chitra!

  5. afracooking June 1, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Craziest coincidence! I just picked up a bag of these chickpeas in this new Asian shop I had discoverd. I had no idea what I was going to make with them….now I do πŸ™‚

    • Nandini June 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      That’s awesome to know. I hope you enjoy it Afra πŸ™‚

  6. Manny's Gallery June 3, 2014 at 12:58 am #


    I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing, very educative and delicious.


  7. mrsratfire June 5, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    Your recipes are beautiful- mine are super, simple fast as lightening. Yours are a work of art! I will be trying some. On your website- the picture of the shrimp dish on the front page looks great! I tried to buy the ingredients in your store but you were out of one. I will check back. I have never made Indian inspired dishes. But I do love the food. So, why not? I do make simple Asian and Lebanese food. Keep ’em coming. It is a doorway to a whole new world for most of us.

    • Nandini June 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Its good to know that you want to venture towards Indian Foods. It does have a different dimension if you like spices :-). I do apologize for the out of stock (Xacuti Spice) I underestimated my stock this time and should be hopefully restocked in another week :-). Thank you for visiting my store.

  8. Pepper Culpepper June 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    This looks beautiful!

    • Nandini June 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Thank You Heather πŸ™‚

  9. Charanya June 14, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    Leibster Award for you- Check it out πŸ™‚

    • Nandini June 14, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Thank you so much Charanya. I am humbled by your gesture πŸ™‚

  10. myhealthybeginnings July 9, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Your photos all look beautiful! Which Goan meals would you recommend that aren’t spicy? I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to spicy food but I’m always interested in trying new things!


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