Get ready to snack on some spiced brown chickpeas! Enjoy this sookha kala chana with roti, poori or on its own with a cup of chai.
These masala-coated brown chickpeas are considered a “dry curry” and are often paired with Indian flatbread. I personally love snacking on them with a cup of creamy masala chai.
If you’re one of those people who pays very close attention to detail, you may have noticed that in my cookbook, I call this recipe sukhe kala chana and here on the blog I’m calling it sookha kala chana. Both words mean “dry” but sukhe is a Punjabi word and sookha is a Hindi word. I’m using the word “sookha” here on the blog because that’s what most people search for when looking for this recipe 🙂
Anyway, moving on…
This popular dry curry is onion-free and garlic-free and is often served with halwa and poori during festivals. Sookha kala chana is also vegan and gluten-free. In fact, this recipe consists of just oil, brown chickpeas, spices and water.
While you probably won’t find this dish in an Indian restaurant, it is very popular in Indian homes, especially during festival time. Navratri, a major nine-day Hindu festival, is celebrated twice a year and on the last day, kala chana is served alongside poori and halwa. I remember when I was much younger, me and my little girl friends would go from home to home eating halwa, poori and kala chana and we’d get so many gifts. I loved it…lol. No need to wait for a special reason to make this – it’s great any time of the year 🙂
If you’ve never tried brown chickpeas before, they have a bit of a nutty flavor and are more dense when compared to garbanzo beans/chickpeas. This is how I like to describe the difference: if you press a cooked white chickpea between your fingers, it’ll easily smush whereas with a brown chickpea, you have to press a little harder to smush it. I know that’s probably a strange way to describe the texture but it makes sense, right?
Anyway, if you’re interested in legumes, I share a lot more info about Indian legumes in this post. And if you’d like to try out more brown chickpea recipes, I have a saucy kala chana curry and a kadala coconut curry here on the blog!
Let me know what you think of this 🙂
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon dried mango powder amchur
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black salt kala namak
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin powder*
- ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional
- 1 cup water
- Cilantro garnish
- Soak the brown chickpeas in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Press the sauté button, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once the cumin seeds become brown and the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the brown chickpeas and all of the spices. Mix well, then add the water.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure.
- Press the sauté button to boil o any remaining water in the pot.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- To make roasted cumin powder: heat a skillet over low heat and dry roast cumin seeds (I usually do 1 cup) for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the color of the cumin changes to a dark brown. Turn off the heat and allow the cumin seeds to cool down. Place the cumin into a spice grinder and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight jar and use within 6-8 months for the most flavor.