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Kala chana recipe| kala chana masala curry | kala chana nu shaak

Kala chana is a popular North Indian curry recipe prepared with black chickpeas and an assortment of dry spices. It is a mildly spicy and tangy gravy-based curry that can be served with poori, roti, or rice. There are numerous ways to prepare this curry, but this post describes the popular Dhaba-style chana masala gravy recipe without onion and garlic. Give it a try!

The key to making tasty kala chana curry at home are
  • Firstly, soak the black chickpeas for a minimum of 6-8 hours before preparing this curry. Ideally, overnight soaking should be sufficient, followed by pressure cooking the chana to help hasten the cooking process.
  • Secondly, in the masala paste, I add some boiled chana, which should result in a thick curry. Alternatively, you can also add besan flour to achieve the desired thickness.
  • Lastly, do not forget to add the ghee tempering on top of the prepared kala chana curry. This is because it helps reduce the spiciness and balances the flavor.

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Recipe Video 

Kala chana recipe| kala chana masala curry | kala chana nu shaak

Author Nehas Cook Book
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Curry
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5 servings


For pressure cooker kala chana

  • 1 cup-soaked kala chana
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3-4 black pepper
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cup water

For kala chana curry

  • Pressure cook kala chana
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Pinch of hing
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 2 green chilli
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 tbsp boiled kala chana
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • Water as required to grind the paste
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi
  • Some coriander leaves

For ghee tadka

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2-3 green chilli
  • 3-4 ginger slits


  • Wash and soak kala chana for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked kala chana, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves, 1-inch cinnamon, 3-4 black peppercorns, 2 cardamom pods, salt, and water.
  • Close the lid and pressure cook the kala chana for 4-5 whistles or until the chana becomes soft.
  • Once the kala chana is properly boiled, remove the dry spices and set it aside.
  • In a mixer jar, combine 2 chopped tomatoes, ½ cup coriander leaves, 2 green chillies, 1-inch piece of ginger, 2 tbsp boiled chana, 2 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp black salt, and 1 tsp amchur powder. Add 4 tbsp water and blend it into a thick paste. Your masala paste is now ready. Set it aside.
  • In a kadai (wok), heat 4 tbsp of oil, add 1 tsp cumin seeds, and a pinch of hing (asafoetida). Sauté until fragrant.
  • Add the masala paste and sauté until the oil starts to release from its sides.
  • Now add the boiled chana along with the water, salt, and mix well.
  • Cover and simmer the gravy for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add ½ tsp garam masala and 1 tsp kasuri methi. Mix well.
  • In a tadka pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee, add 2-3 green chillies and 3-4 slits of ginger. Sauté until aromatic.
  • Add the tadka into the kala chana sabzi and mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve the sabzi with poori, roti, or rice. Enjoy!


  1. Dry spices impart a delightful aromatic flavor to the chana.
  2. Boiling the chana in a masala paste adds thickness to the gravy.
  3. The masala paste lends a dhaba-style color and flavor to the chana shaak.
  4. Cover and cook the chana shaak over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes to allow the masala flavor to be absorbed.
  5. The ghee tadka enhances the flavor and taste of the chana shaak.
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)


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