11 August, 2009

Legume Love Affair - black chickpeas curry

The Chickpea belongs to legume family. Legume refers to the seeds of certain plants, a simple dry fruit which are low-fat, low-cholesterol substitute for meat. Chickpeas are high in protein and are one of the earliest cultivated vegetables. 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.

Believe it or not but in 1793 ground roast chickpeas were noted by a German writer as a coffee substitute in Europe and in the First World War they were grown for this in some areas of Germany. Chickpeas are still sometimes brewed instead of coffee. [wikipedia]

For me chickpeas reminds me of my school days when in third standard, my science teacher told us to grow a plant in the small pot as an assignment for learning the growth and parts of the plant. I used to take a small ice-cream plastic bowl to plant chickpeas seeds in it. India is the world leader in chickpea (bengal gram) production.

Black Chickpeas Curry

There are two main kinds of chickpea:
  • Black Chickpeas (Desi / Kala Chana), which has small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran.
  • Kabuli Chana(Chole/garbanzo beans), which has lighter colored, larger seeds and a smoother coat, mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, and Chile, also introduced during the 18th century to the Indian subcontinent
Usually, people like eating the Black chickpeas (desi/kale chane) in breakfast or as some evening snack cooked which have a very basic recipe that is boiling them till soft and then in very little oil slightly sautéing those with fine chopped onion, some seasonings and mixed with a tint of lemon juice.

I prefer a step further, cooking black chickpeas (desi/kale chane) as in a Curry. When one does not have any green vegetables in stock, these legumes are the best and easiest options to cook in the earthy delicacy.

Ingredients of Black-Chickpeas Curry:

  • Kala Chana CurryOnion-1 (chopped medium size)
  • Tomatos-2 (large size)
  • Green chillies-2-3Nos (optional)
  • Coriander Powder-1 tablespoon
  • Red Chilies Powder-1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder- ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon Stick-1/4 inch
  • Black pepper-6-7Nos
  • Cloves- 2-3 Nos.
  • Salt- According to taste
  • Ginger-1inch
  • Garlic pods-6-8 Nos.
  • Oil- 3tablespoon.

Making of  Black Chickpeas Curry:

Making of Black Chickpeas Curry

  • Wash and soak the black chickpeas (kale chane) in water for at least 6-10hours or overnight. Rinse the chickpeas and keep side.
  • Dry roast the cinnamon stick and black pepper on the hot pan. Cool it and then crush to make them powder.
  • Either take ginger-garlic paste directly or make one by crushing them together to form paste and mix the dry roasted cinnamon stick and black pepper powder.
  • Fine chop the Onion and tomatoes.
  • Take other dry spices like turmeric, salt, red chilies and coriander powder in the bowl and mix to make paste texture with water.
  • Now, take a Pressure Cooker and heat oil in it.
  • Then add the cloves and following it add tomatoes.
  • Cook the tomatoes till glossy.
  • Now add fine chopped onion and cook till the onion turns golden brown.
  • Now add the ginger-garlic paste mixed with roasted cinnamon stick and black pepper powder.
  • Cook for next 2 minutes. Then add the spices (coriander, chili, turmeric powder and salt) paste made.
  • Mix all together well and cook until it turns golden color and leaves oil from the mixture.
  • To avoid the spices sticking at the bottom add ½ cup of water.
  • Now add the over-night soaked black-chickpeas into the vessel and mix it well with the spices.
  • Keep the high flames keeping stirring and roasting the black-chickpeas with the spices for next 5-10 minutes.
  • Now add chopped green chilies and 4-5 cups of water.
  • Close the pressure cooker with the lid and cooking until 8-10 whistles.
  • After all whistles done cover the vessel/cooker and let the smoke mixes well.
  • Check the consistency, simmer till required consistency. Also check pressing one of the chickpeas have turned soft. Add more water if required and boil.
  • Keep on rest for couple of minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves or fine shred of ginger.
  • Serve hot. Enjoy with warm rice or chapatti/bread.
  • Black Chickpeas LegumeYou can boil the black-chickpeas separately until soft and also one can use the same water in which chickpeas boiled to make curry.
  • One can also use ginger garlic paste.
  • Paste of onion and tomato can be used.
  • To enhance taste on can add the lemon-juice at the end before serving.
  • Better to use the pressure cooker than a normal pan, as it saves time and fuel.
  • The number of whistles in pressure cooker might differ. So if you are not sure then, after every 3-4 whistles open the pressure cooker and do check the chickpea have turned soft.To check, take one chickpea and press in between with fingers.
  • This recipe is also dedicated to the wonderful competition "My Legume Love Affair14" hosted by Susan,"The Well-Seasoned Cook" Blog.


  1. Chickpeas are always my favorite and rich in protein. Nice dish girl.

  2. you made it look and sound so yummy yummy.
    I might try cooking it once :)

  3. Such a lovely dish. I've heard of black chickpeas, but haven't purchase them yet. This is a beautifully stepped recipe, Rachana. No one could mess it up following your instructions. Thanks so much for sharing it with MLLA 14.

  4. U Comment~ I shall follow you back

    @ Priya
    Thanks dear! Hope U liked the recipe.

    @ Lena
    I'm Glad you visited the blog. Do let me know, how U enjoyed making the recipe!

    @ Susan
    O Dear! thank u so much for accepting my recipe for MLLA14 event.

  5. hey girl...do u remember the mushroom dish bought for lunch in school...I need the recepie for that one, it was awesome. Ans also the dum aloo that aunty made on ur b'day (class IX)..Yummy!!

  6. girl do u remember the mushroom ki sabji u brought for lunch in chool once... and the dum aaloo aunty made on ur b'day(class IX)..please publish the recipies of these 2 dishes too...both are amazing

  7. @ Tanu
    O dear Chweety! U still remember with acurate date simply amaze me. I shall for sure add the recipe of the mushroom at ur request soon.
    And as far as the recipe of dum Aloo is concerned, well then Ur comment have been at the right time as for few days mummy is here visiting my home. I shall ask her to make Dum AAloo tomorrow for sure.

    By the way...what make you to know the recipe..U started cooking or what ;)
    Anyway! Twinny, Thank you so much for visiting and taking time to comment which indeed made me nostalgic:)

    Yeah! Luv U simply Dil Se..
    Celebrate Friendship..

  8. you know you are like my presonal coach... :D

    thanks a ton :)

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