June 06, 2012

Sukha Kala Chana

Sukha Kala Chana

 My morning rides to the office have changed forever.

Nowadays Lil A is with us and we usually drop him to his preschool on the way to work. And we spend our time in the car spotting "big bus", "truck", "school bus", jeep, "police car" etc. Not even one goes unnoticed!

It's become so addictive that I find when I am alone in the car, I am still counting what I have seen and it's not that interesting without that little voice from behind saying "mommy, look, look, a biiig truck."

If you are wondering, today we saw 3 buses, 2 school buses and 1 truck, not to mention 1 police car too :-)

Okay, now back to the recipe, I had bought a big bag of this kala chana from the Indian store and haven't used it that often. I found the box when rearranging and soaked a big batch and made this sukha kala chana with it.

The curry is "makha makha" or dry enough that it sticks to the smaller black chickpeas which makes it quite yummy. I served it with some lime soaked cucumber which gave it a fresh bite.

It's perfect for a snack or even a side dish with chapati or rice.

Here's how to make it:

2 cups kala chana (black chickpeas) soaked for a good 24 hours
3-4 tbspoon oil
1 tspoon cumin seeds
2 green chilles (not slit)
1 1/2 tspoon fresh grated ginger
1 onion - chopped thinly
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
1/2 tspoon coriander powder
1/2 tspoon ammchoor (dried mango) powder
1/2 tspoon cumin powder
handful fresh cilantro chopped
1 cucumber - chopped thinly
1 tspoon lemon juice
salt to taste

Boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker till cooked. I end up with 4-5 whistles. Drain and reserve some stock.

In a deep pan, heat the oil and temper with cumin seeds and green chillies. Now add the ginger and saute for a minute.

Then add the onion and fry on medium till the onion are soft and turn brown on the edges. Now add the turmeric, chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and the aamchoor and mix it well and let it cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the kala chana, 1/4 cup of water and salt. Cook on closed lid for 2-3 minutes, mix well and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes without the lid till the water disappears.

Add the cilantro and take it off the heat.

Add the cucumber garnish (optional) and serve.


  1. It's been so long since I had this,,,:) looks yum,

  2. Ha, ha... :) You are a involved Mommy. When I drive alone, I try to forget my Mom side of life ;-)

    I love sukha kala chana, particularly the prashad one. Try adding a little ajwain if you have some. Awesome flavor.

    1. LOL, I remember these good days as opposed to the whining and crying ones :)

      Aajke ajwain diye banabo.

  3. Hello Mandira,
    Thanks for the sukha kala chana recipe.
    I'll create one for sure, my kids are gonna like it :)
    If you don't mind, can you submit your sukha kala chana photo in http://www.foodporn.net ?
    It's a food photography site full of all DIY food pictures from members around the world. Or perhaps you'd like to submit by yourself? Let me know when you did, so I can share it.

  4. Yeah kids change our lifes for ever.
    When i was younger we only had black channa in Kerala, and then the while channa started to show up in shops and when mom made white channa we were so thrilled :-) channa looks so good.

    1. I had the kala chana growing up and then did'nt get it here for a long time.

  5. This is a great recipe, so different from the way we make sundal in the South. Will give it a try.

    Precious time in the car in the mornings are special.

    1. These are good days Indo when he is not whining or crying :) Do try the recipe.

  6. Sounds excellent and almost similar like South Indian sundal.Protein rich definitely.

  7. Kala chana makes for some great chaat! Lovely recipe for summer!

    1. Yeah Jagruti, perfect for the afternoon snack :) thanks.

  8. Lil A growing fast and time flies Mandira ...love kala chana as snack..enjoy motherhood it's so precious..kicho din por mone hobe O bacha thale hi bhalo hoto ..amar to praye eyi mone hoye ekhon amar meye ke dekhle..hugs and smiles

    1. ha ha, time does fly. Nowadays, when I am rushing him, he says "One minute" :)

  9. My grandmother used to add a bit of onion to this, though I don't think she added the rest of the powders, except salt and a bit of chilli. I actually prefer the kala channa to the white one.

    At first glance, I thought the green bits were mango but recognised the cucumber soon enough.

    1. Mango, hmm now that could give this an amazing taste too :) Have to try that topping.

  10. Khadijah2:58 AM

    Hi! I just found your blog a few days ago and everything looks amazing. I tried the masala eggplant sabzi yesterday and it was great! Thanks! I was wondering what you mean by "temper the oil" with cumin seeds. What does it mean to temper? For the eggplant recipe, I just put the cumin seeds in as the oil was heating and hoped that is what you meant. Is that right?

    1. Thanks Khasijah for your comment. What I mean is to heat the oil and then add the cumin seeds, it gives out an aroma. You are right on track :) Glad the eggplant turned out well.

  11. this looks delicious! i have to try it soon :)



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