Kala Channa (black chickpea) masala

This dry dish is a favorite with both hubby and me. It’s mouth-watering to even think about it, but only the way my mom makes it. I tried following her recipe but failed miserably. The failure was partly because my mom dictates recipes in approximates 😛 she can never give me exact measurements because she never measures ingredients herself! This is where watching and learning play an important role. I wish I had paid more attention while she cooked. Even though it wasn’t similar to mom’s kala channa masala, it was still tasty! We had it with besan roti. Here’s the recipe.


1 cup kala channa (black chickpeas), soaked overnight

4-5 cloves

3-5 red chillies (2-3 for grinding and 2 for tempering)

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp mustard seeds (1/2 tsp for tempering and 1/2 tsp for grinding)

1/2 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)

2 large red onions, chopped

4-5 garlic cloves

4-5 tbspns grated coconut

1 tsp split husked black gram (urad dal)

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

Oil-1-2 tsp


Boil or pressure cook the soaked kala channa with cloves and 1/4th of the chopped onion. Make sure there isn’t too much water left in the cooker once it’s cooked.

Dry roast the red chillies, coriander and cumin seeds, pepper, mustard and poppy seeds until aromatic.

Grind it in a mixer or coffee grinder until it’s a fine powder. Once it’s powdered add 1/2 of the chopped onion and 2-3 garlic cloves to the mixture and continue to grind it to a fine paste.

Once it is a fine paste add the grated coconut and grind it coarsely. Remove the masala and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Once it’s hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add husked gram and the red chillies and 2 whole garlic cloves.

Once the urad dal is golden and the garlic is slightly brown, add the remaining 1/4 chopped onion to it and saute until it’s translucent.

Once the onion is translucent add the ground masala to it and fry it for about 2-3 mins on medium heat.

Add the boiled kala channa to it and mix well and let it cook on medium heat until some of the water has evaporated (approximately 3-5 minutes).



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