If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your diet or get more nutrients into your body, then this article might be just what you need.
Kala chana, also known as black chickpeas, are an excellent choice for people who want to eat something nutritious but don’t have much time or patience to prepare meals.
These little beans come from India and Pakistan, and their popularity has spread around the world because they are so tasty!
What Are The Ingredients In A Kala Chana Recipe?
There are many different types of food that can be made with these delicious beans, including curries, stews, soups, salads, and even desserts! In order to create your own recipes using them, it helps to know exactly how to use them. Here’s what you should expect when cooking with these beans:
- They contain high amounts of fiber (11 grams per cup), which means that they will help keep you full for longer periods of time.
- The fact that they are low on calories makes them a good option if you want to lose weight.
- They provide more protein than other legumes like lentils and split peas, making them an ideal ingredient for vegetarians and vegans.
- They are rich in iron, zinc, vitamin B1, potassium, folate, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorous, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, and vitamin C.
- Black chickpeas are extremely versatile, meaning that they can be used in a variety of dishes without changing the taste too much.
- You can buy them canned, dried, frozen, or fresh.
How Do You Cook Kala Chana?
The first step in cooking kala chana is soaking them overnight.
You can find instructions on how to soak dried beans here.
Once you’ve soaked the beans, rinse off the water with fresh water and put them in a large pot.
Add enough cold water to cover the beans by about 2 inches.
Bring it to a boil over high heat, reduce the flame to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender.
Once the beans are cooked, drain and discard the liquid.
Then add the beans back to the same pan and mash them with a potato masher or fork.
If desired, you may add a bit of oil to prevent sticking.
Let the mashed beans cool before moving forward with the rest of the recipe.
Roasted kala chana recipe
A simple roasted kala chana recipe takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and will provide your family with a healthy snack that tastes good too.
The preparation starts when you chop up the garlic cloves, onion, chili pepper, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cardamom pods, and mustard seeds.
These spices should all go directly in the food processor along with three tablespoons of olive oil.
Then combine everything together using your hands and mix well.
Next, pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius) for 10 minutes per side.
While the kala chana is roasting, wash and dry the black chickpeas, and place them in a bowl.
Mix one tablespoon of salt and two teaspoons of brown sugar into the bowl of chickpeas.
After the mixture is mixed, use your hands to massage it evenly throughout the entire batch of beans.
After mixing, let the chickpeas sit for five hours or overnight.
When the time comes to serve, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius).
Place the chickpeas in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the baked beans from the oven and allow them to cool completely before serving.
What Are Some Common Kala Chana Recipes?
The most popular types of kalchana that we can find in supermarkets today are rajma (red kidney beans), urad dal (black lentils) and mung dal (yellow split peas).
However, there are many different kinds of these foods available on store shelves, including red beans, green peas, and other varieties.
Here are some of the best-known dishes made with black chickpeas:
- Aloo gobi – Indian potato curry made with cooked potatoes and black chickpeas
- Dahi bhat – South Asian yogurt drink usually served warm
- Chole masoori – spicy soup made with chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin seeds, and whole spices like cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks
- Khichdi – spiced rice pudding that is sometimes called “poor man’s food” due to its affordability and simplicity
- Makhaniya – spicy bean stew made with black chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and water
- Palak Paneer – Indian spinach and cheese dish made with fresh spinach, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), cream, eggs, and green chilies
- Papri chaat – savory snack made with paprika powder, cayenne pepper, dried mango pieces, fried bread, and pickled vegetables
- Rajma khichdi – yellowish rice pudding made with red kidney beans, tamarind juice, and ghee
- Urad daal alu paratha – flatbread stuffed with black lentil paste and roasted over hot coals
- Vada pesarattai – deep-fried fritters made from black chickpea flour and vegetable oil
It doesn’t take long at all to learn how to cook with black chickpeas.
They are very versatile ingredients, which means that you will always have new ideas when it comes to creating interesting dishes.
So let us now look at the next section where we discuss how to cook them properly.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Kala Chana?
One serving (1/4 cup) of cooked kala chana provides 7 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 10% of daily vitamin A needs, 16% of daily calcium requirements, 4% of daily iron needs, 3% of daily potassium needs, 9% of daily phosphorus needs, and 8% of daily magnesium needs.
These facts tell us that if we consume one serving per day, we can meet our recommended intake levels for almost all vitamins and minerals. However, kala chana is not only good for its nutrient content.
It tastes really nice too!
Are There Any Health Benefits To Eating Kala Chana?
As with all foods, it depends on how they are prepared.
If you cook them properly, like in this recipe that we will share today, then they can definitely help boost your overall nutrition levels.
One major benefit of these tiny seeds is that they contain high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fibers.
Soluble fibers provide bulk to stools while insoluble ones are not digested by our bodies.
Both types of fiber work together to keep us regular and prevent constipation.
These two types of fiber are important for many reasons, including helping with weight loss and lowering cholesterol levels.
They even help fight cancer and diabetes, which means that if you start incorporating these beans into your daily routine, you could potentially lower your risk of developing those diseases later down the road.
Another positive aspect about black chickpeas is that they are low in calories and fat content.
In fact, one cup of cooked black chickpeas contains only 30 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.
Most other legumes, such as lentils and split peas, contain significantly higher amounts of both fats and calories.
On top of being full of vitamins and minerals, kala chana are packed with iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
All of these elements play vital roles in keeping our systems running smoothly.
How to cook kala chana
- Wash the whole dried black chickpea pods under cold water for at least 5 minutes before soaking.
- Soak the washed chickpeas overnight in plenty of fresh water until soft (about 12 hours).
- Drain off the excess water and add 2 cups of filtered water along with salt and turmeric powder. Boil over medium heat until tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Once ready, drain off most of the liquid and transfer to a food processor. Add enough oil to cover the surface of the mixture thoroughly. Blend well.
- Add sugar, garam masala, and cumin powder and blend again till smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
- To serve, ladle out small portions onto plates and garnish lightly with chopped coriander leaves.
What Are Some Tips For Cooking Kala Chana?
As with most other types of legumes, it’s important not to cook them too long before adding them to recipes.
If you overcook them, the texture will become mushy rather than firm, which makes them very difficult to digest.
The best way to ensure that these legumes stay intact is by soaking them in water overnight.
You can find out how many hours you should soak them here.
Once soaked, drain off the excess water and add the drained beans to a pot along with some oil and salt (about 1 teaspoon per cup).
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated.
Reduce the heat and let simmer until the beans start to soften – about 20 minutes.
Now comes the fun part! Once the beans look like they’re ready, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock powder to thicken up the sauce.
Stir constantly while the broth thickens up, making sure to scrape down the sides of the pan to prevent sticking.
When the desired consistency is reached, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, red chili flakes, and sugar.
Cook on low heat for another 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
You can serve this dish plain, garnished with fresh herbs if you prefer, or use the sauce as a dip for breadsticks or rice crackers.
It goes well with salads or even as a side dish for meat dishes.
How Do You Know When Kala Chana Is Cooked?
You will notice that most recipes call for these beans to be soaked overnight before using them in a dish.
When soaking these beans, it makes sense that you should let them sit in water for about 12 hours.
It’s important for the beans to soak up all the moisture they can get while being submerged in water.
After sitting in water for 12 hours, drain off the excess liquid and rinse the beans well.
Once rinsed, place the drained beans back in the pot along with enough fresh water to cover the beans by at least 1 inch (about 2.5 centimeters).
You will want to bring the beans to a boil over medium heat, reduce the temperature to low-medium, and simmer until the beans become tender, usually taking anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how large the beans were initially.
When the beans start to soften, use a slotted spoon to remove the beans from the water and allow them to cool down.
If you like, you can cook the beans right away after removing them from the water, but if you plan ahead, allowing the beans to cool down allows them to absorb more flavor.
To speed up cooling, you can transfer the hot beans to a bowl filled with ice cubes placed inside another bowl full of cold water.
Once cooled down, you can either store them in the fridge or freezer to keep them good till next time.
Just remember not to reheat frozen foods too often or else they will lose their texture.
What Can You Serve With Kala Chana?
Black chickpeas are full of nutrients that help keep you fit and healthy.
They contain high amounts of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, folate, copper, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and niacin.
But one of the most important things about these little gems is that they are loaded with dietary fiber.
Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels in your blood while helping you feel fuller longer.
It also keeps you regular by keeping food moving through your digestive system.
Here are some ideas for how you can use them in your daily life:
- Add them to salads or sandwiches.
- Make hummus (or dip it in olive oil)
- Use them in place of lentils if you prefer not to cook them yourself
- Toss them on top of rice dishes like pilafs and fried rice
- Serve them with curries or stews
- Sprinkle them onto soup bowls before eating
- Mix them into smoothies
- Eat them plain out of hand
- Enjoy them fresh off the stove
- Try adding them to baked goods
- Add chopped up pieces to stir-fry vegetables
- Put them on pizza crusts instead of cheese
- Make falafel balls with them
- Bake them into breadsticks
- Roast them whole and add them to soups
- Garnish cakes with roasted chickpeas
- Pinch them on top of ice cream sundaes
- Dump them into chili powder and sprinkle over tacos
- Slice them thinly and fry up with eggs
- Combine them with potatoes for hash browns
- Cook them with tomatoes to make tomato sauce
- Chop up pieces of chicken breast and toss them with kalchana to make a flavorful salad
- Add them to homemade Indian dals
- Top popcorn with them
- Add them to potato skins
- Stir together with spices and yogurt to make a side dish
Is Kala Chana Easy To Digest?
Because these small legumes are dried, it doesn’t take long for them to become soft enough that they can easily pass through our digestive system without causing problems.
It takes about 20 minutes for the body to break down all the proteins in kala chana once they enter the stomach.
So if you think you’re going to spend hours on end cooking up this bean stew, think again.
The process actually happens very quickly.
The only downside to eating kala chana is that you may experience some gas while eating them.
For most people, this isn’t too bad, but those who tend to suffer from bloating or other digestive issues should probably avoid it altogether.
That being said, there are many different types of dishes that you can enjoy when preparing kala chana.
For example, you could try making a simple curry out of this bean, which will help to reduce any potential bloating.
You could even add a few cloves of garlic to enhance its flavor further.
Of course, you could always go ahead and add some spices like cumin and coriander to spice things up a bit – just remember not to overdo it.
Too much heat can cause indigestion.
What Is The Best Way To Store Kala Chana?
The storage method will depend on how long it takes for you to consume them.
If you plan to use these in recipes that require cooking, like curries or stews, then storing them in a sealed container can prolong their shelf life.
You should avoid using plastic containers with metal lids, however, since this may cause the chickpeas to absorb some of the flavorings found inside.
If you plan to snack on them straight out of the package, then there isn’t really anything wrong with keeping them in open air.
They won’t spoil quite as quickly, especially if you keep them in a cool place (like your refrigerator) where they aren’t exposed to sunlight.
Still, I wouldn’t recommend leaving them sitting outside too long unless you know the weather forecast is going to be very dry.
As far as preparation goes, once you remove them from the packaging, rinse them off under running water and let them drain completely before placing them in your fridge.
Once you start eating them, remember not to wash them down until you finish each serving.
This prevents excess saltiness in your mouth.
- pressure cooker
- 1 cup black chickpeas
- 2.5 cups water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ cup finely chopped onions
- 1.25 cups finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 pinch asafetida
- 1.5 cups water
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 to 2 tablespoons choppped coriander leavesal
Soaking Black Chickpeas
- Rinse black chickpeas in water many times.
- Take 2.5 cups of water and soak the black chickpeas or kala chana in it overnight or for 8 to 9 hours in a big enough dish.
- Remove the water. The soaked chickpeas should be rinsed several times in water using a colander or sieve before being placed aside.
Making Kala Chana
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee to a 3-liter pressure cooker. Turn down the heat a bit.
- the seeds of cumin. After they have started to crackle, add finely sliced onions.
- Onions should be sauteed over medium-low to medium heat until they turn light yellow. Reducing the heat to low once more.
- Green chili, ginger, and garlic that has been finely diced should be added. Sauté for 10 to 12 seconds, or until the raw aroma of the garlic and ginger disappears.
- On a medium-low heat, add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook them until oil begins to come out of the sides of the onion-tomato masala. The tomatoes ought to squish up and get pulpy.
- Replace canned or tomato puree with fresh tomatoes. The tinned tomatoes should be crushed before being added. Add roughly 12 cup plus 2 teaspoons of tomato puree.
- Add the spices and stir for one minute over low heat: turmeric, asafoetida, coriander, and Kashmiri red chili powder.
- After that, include water and the soaked black chickpeas. Mix thoroughly after adding salt.
- Chana should be pressure cooked for 10 to 11 minutes or 10 to 12 whistles on medium heat, depending on how soft you like your chickpeas. Pressure cook them for an additional 5 minutes if they are undercooked or have a hard center.
- Lastly sprinkle the curry with garam masala and coriander leaves. If you like, garnish punjabi kala chana gravy with coriander leaves.
- Serve the black chickpeas gravy with steamed rice, roti.