Sookha Kala Chana
North Indian

Sookha Kala Chana

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Sookha Kala Chana or Kala Chana Masala or Dry Kala Chana is a delicious, spicy, and popular dish that forms a part of the North Indian Cuisine. It is traditionally made in India during the fasting festival of Navratri. The classic combination of poori-chana-halwa is a traditional meal that is offered to Goddess Durga as Bhog on the eighth day of Navratri commonly known as Ashtami.

Ever since I remember, I have enjoyed Kala chana with sooji halwa and poori during Kanya Pujan (worship of nine girls). It’s like these dishes can’t be enjoyed any other way. I am not a fasting person at all. Can’t live without food but festivals are a great excuse to enjoy delicious food for me. So Navratri no Navratri you can also make this dry Kala chana recipe any time.

How it’s made

Sookha Kala Chana is a simple, quick, very healthy and tasty recipe which can be made in 20 minutes if you have boiled chickpea ready. Soaking the chana requires some pre-planning and pressure cooking it requires some time. But you don’t need to stand there in the kitchen while it is boiling. Since this recipe is a no onion no garlic its taste is defined by its spices. You can make this Sukha Kala chana recipe with basic spices available in your kitchen.

To make this dry chana masala you first need to soak Kala chana overnight. Then it is boiled with some salt in it. Boiled chana is then added to the spicy masala and fried till the outer covering of the Kala chana becomes crisp and the chana has absorbed some flavor from the masala base.

Rich in nutrition

Kala Chana Masala (Black chickpeas) is highly nutritious, it has a low glycemic index and is rich in fiber. Those who are on a gluten-free diet can feel happy by adding Kala chana to their diet. Kala Chana is also rich in calcium, folic acid, and iron. Calcium is necessary for the growth of bones and to maintain the health of the teeth. The vitamin C in Kala chana helps improve the absorption of iron in the blood.

They are also rich in other minerals like sodium, selenium, manganese, and some anti-oxidants, which makes them ideal for growing children. A growing kid or baby needs high amounts of protein to fuel growth.

Serving Style

Sookha Kala Chana recipe can be accompanied by roti, poori, or paranthas. On the occasion of Navratri, this dish is enjoyed together with poori, Suji ka Halwa or Kheer. You can also add some chopped onions, tomatoes, and lemon juice to the boiled and spiced chickpeas to make a quick & delicious chaat as a snack. It is easy to carry so makes a great lunchbox recipe along with some salad or paratha.

To make Sookha Kala Chana at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.

Do try other similar recipes :

Soaking Time: 6-8Hrs  ∏  Cooking Time: 35mins ∏  Servings: 3-4 persons

Level: Beginners (Easy)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

How to make Sookha Kala Chana:

Step1: To make the sookha kala chana recipe we have to first rinse black chickpeas 2-3 times and soak in enough water for a minimum of 6-8 hours or overnight.

Step2: Once soaked and doubled in size, drain out the excess water and rinse them again with fresh running water in the morning and set aside.

Step3: Transfer it into a pressure cooker with 1.5 cups of water and some salt.

Step4: Pressure cook at high flame till you get 1-2 whistles. After that lower the flame to medium and let the black chickpeas cook for another 5-7 minutes. (Boiling time may differ depending upon the type of water and the region).

Step5: Let the pressure come off completely before opening the lid. The chickpeas should be cooked well and softened. The chickpeas should be soft when you mash it between finger and thumb. It should not give you a bite when you eat it. If not, give 1 or 2 whistles more to cook completely.

Step6: In a small bowl add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, and some salt. (I will recommend adding a small amount of salt at this moment as we have already added salt in the chickpeas while boiling, so adjust the salt later after adding boiled chickpeas)

Step7: Add around 2-3 tablespoon of water and mix it well.

Step8: Heat a pan with ghee/oil on medium flame, once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Then reduce the flame to low and add 1 pinch of asafoetida, grated ginger, and green chilies. Saute for 20-30 seconds.

Step9: Now add the mixed spices paste into the oil. Stir continuously so that the mixture does not stick at the bottom.

Step10: Roast the spices for 2-3 mins on low-medium heat.

Step11: Strain and reserve the excess water from the kala chana. Add boiled chana in the masala. Mix them well and cook for another 3-4 min on low flame.

Step12: Then add reserved stock in which the chickpeas were boiled. If it has too much water then keep some and use it in making dal. For this sookha Kala chana, you will need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water. Give it a good stir and simmer the sukha kala chana on low-medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes or until the masala gets well coated into the chana. Keep stirring in between.

Step13: Now add 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder, 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala powder,1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves. Sauté the spices for a few seconds.

Step14: When the kala chana is well cooked add 1/2 teaspoon chana masala or garam masala and cook it for 1 minute. Once done, turn off the heat, check if you need to add more salt and adjust according to taste. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.

Step15: Serve Sukha Kala Chana recipe along with poori, halwa or kheer as prasad for Ashtami. You can also serve it with roti, paratha, or rice. Enjoy!


  • I have made chana in vegetable oil, but they also taste great when cooked entirely in ghee or butter. You may also use the combination of ghee and oil.
  • Adding a pinch of baking soda in the water along with salt also helps in the cooking process and the chickpeas become really soft when cooked.
  • Here in the U.S, it takes very little time to pressure cook any lentils as it depends upon the type of water. If you are in India cook it for at least 3-4 whistle.
  • You can also use fresh homemade chana masala powder instead of using store-bought masala.
  • While adding spice mixture into the pan make sure to reduce the flame to low.

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