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punjabi kala chana / black chickpea curry

Punjabi Kala Chana

Classic Punjabi kala chana is a gluten free and vegan curry that will become a family favorite! Serve over steamed basmati with some sliced onions.
Servings 4


  • Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker


  • 1.5 cups kala chana soaked overnight
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp laal mirch chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed coriander


Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot

  • Add your soaked and drained black chickpeas to your pressure cooker along with the water, ginger garlic pastes, salt, chili powder and turmeric. Cook on the pressure setting for 35 minutes. Release the steam carefully, then cook the Chanay, stirring often, until most of the water dries up.
  • At this point add the oil and cook, stirring, till the onions break down. Add 2 cups boiling water and the crushed coriander seeds and simmer for about ten minutes, till everything combines nicely and the oil separates. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander along with white rice or naan.


  • In a large pot add approximately 1.5 cups of the black chickpeas along with 4 cups of water. Add the chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the flame and simmer for about 40-45 minutes. Check to see if the chickpeas are cooked through, if not cook for longer.
  • Once the kala chana are cooked thorugh, cook on high till most of the water evaporates, stirring occasionally. Then add the oil and cook on a medium flame, stirring often, until the onions break down and the oil separates. Check for salt, then add 2 cups of boiling water and the ground coriander. Simmer for about ten minutes, then sprinkle with fresh coriander. Serve with white rice or naan.


Some batches of kala chana take very long to cook. It's happened Tom before, and I thought I was cooking them wrong, but just stay the coarse and increase the cooking time. 
If you make these often, I highly recommend boiling these in bulk and freezing in packets.