Black Chana Curry (no garlic)

Black chana curry is my DH’s favourite. Serve it as a side dish with dal rice or as a main with rotis / jeera rice, this particular dish never fails to wow your family members and friends.

Black chana can be also made complete dry as chaat (snack) to be enjoyed with your evening tea, with boiled potatoes, chopped onions tomatoes, salt, pepper, chaat masala and coriander leaves sprinkled on top. It is indeed a heavenly snack that reminds me of rainy evenings in Mumbai and myself enjoying a hot plate of chana chaat with friends at some road-side stall. 🙂

The gravy form of kale chane is equally mouth-watering, fragrant and delectable. I remember I had once enjoyed this dish with jeera rice at a friend’s place in Bangalore. Since then the recipe has been added to my favorites. The aroma of freshly ground garam masala incorporates very well into the curry, making your whole house smell festive.

And good news for all who are trying to diet! 🙂 Black chana is free of cholesterol and low in fat content; which also makes it a heart-friendly dish. It is especially rich in dietary fiber, which lowers the risk of cancer, obesity, heart diseases and digestive problems.

This particular recipe has no use of garlic; however no compulsion! You can go ahead and use garlic if you want to, but I personally would avoid especially as the aroma and taste of garlic can sometimes get too overwhelming.


Black chana – 1 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tbsp

Whole garam masala – Cloves (4-5), Bay leaves (3-4)

Onion – 1 large or 2 medium sized (thinly sliced)

Ginger paste- 1/2 tsp

Tomato – 1 large or 2 medium sized (finely chopped)

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Garam masala powder – 1/2 tbsp

Amchoor powder – 1/2 tsp

Green chillies – as per taste

Salt – as per taste

Coriander leaves – chopped


Pressure cook the chana with few pieces of cloves. Keep the flame on high till you get the first whistle. After the first whistle, lower the flame to sim and cook for 20 mins.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the whole garam masala – cloves and bay leaves. Then add the cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start spluttering, add in the thinly sliced onions. Saute for a few mins. Add turmeric powder and green chillies. When the onions start turning pink add the ginger paste. Stir for few mins till the raw smell of ginger is no more. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Add in the spice powders – red chilly powder and coriander powder. Mix and let it cook on low flame till the tomatoes turn mushy.

Then add the boiled chana along with the water that was used to boil it. Add in garam masala powder, amchoor powder and chopped coriander leaves. Put salt to taste. Mix well. Cover the lid and allow it to cook until the gravy thickens.

Serve with hot rotis or jeera rice. 🙂





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