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overhead: bowl of kala chana chickpea masala
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5 from 2 votes

Kala Chana (Black Chickpea Curry)

Make this kala chana recipe for a vegetarian curry of black chickpeas in an Indian spiced gravy. A quick Instant Pot kala chana curry!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Soaking Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 258kcal
Author: Kevin


  • 1 cup kala chana (black chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1 serrano chile diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
  • 1 lime cut into wedges for serving
  • cilantro for garnish


Soak Overnight

  • Rinse and clean the kala chickpeas. Cover with 3 cups of water and soak for 8 hours or overnight. Rinse and drain before using, OR use method below all in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Quick Soak

  • Rinse and clean the kala chickpeas. Cover with 3 cups of water. The water should cover the chana by about 2 inches, so use additional water if necessary. Cook the chickpeas at high pressure for 2 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Quick release any remaining pressure and remove the Instant Pot lid. Drain and rinse the kala chana in a colander, and use per recipe instructions.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to Saute setting and melt ghee or butter. Toast the cumin seeds in ghee for 2 minutes; add the onion, serrano chile and salt. Cook for several minutes, until onion is soft and translucent.
  • Add garlic and ginger to pot, stir to combine, and cook for one minute. Stir in the tomatoes, coriander, garam masala, red chili powder and turmeric. Saute for for 2 more minutes, then add 2 cups water. Stir to scrape up browned bits on bottom of Instant Pot.
  • Stir in soaked kala chana, cover pressure cooker with lid and manually set for 40 minutes using Pressure Cook setting. Allow a 10 minute natural pressure release before removing lid. Stir in fenugreek leaves.
  • Garnish with additional ghee or butter, lime slices and chopped cilantro on top. Serve with warm naan or bread of choice.


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 607mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 3mg