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Kala chana made in Instant pot served in a steel pan with pooris placed on a black platter
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4.5 from 2 votes

Kala Chana

Black chickpeas cooked to perfection with an assortment of spices using the Instant Pot. A delicious curry served as a part of the Ashtami Offerings.
Prep Time8 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Pressure Release Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Mains
Cuisine: North Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 388kcal


  • 2 cups black chickpeas
  • 6 cups water

For the curry

  • 1.5 tablespoon ghee or oil Use cold pressed coconut oil or avocado oil for vegan version of the same recipe.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1.5 tsp red chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Amchur powder dried mango powder
  • 2 teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 2 cups water

For garnish

  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 small green chilis slit
  • 1 tablespoon ginger juliennes


Hydrate black chickpeas

  • Wash the chickpeas well. Drain.
  • Soak the washed chickpeas in 6 cups water for at least 8 hours.
  • Once they are hydrated, they will look plump.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas in a colander and set aside.

Instant Pot Sookhe Kala Chana

  • Insert the inner pot into the Instant pot.
  • Turn on Saute mode on NORMAL for 5 MINUTES.
  • Wait for the display to read HOT.
  • When the display reads hot, add ghee.
  • Once the ghee melts, add the cumin seeds and allow it to crackle.
  • When the cumin seeds crackle, add the finely chopped ginger and mix well.
  • Now, add the soaked chickpeas, red chili powder, kala Namak (black salt), amchur powder, roasted cumin powder (Bhuna jeera masala), salt and coriander powder along with Kosher salt.

Instant Pot Cooking Time and Method

  • Add 2 cups of water and mix well.
  • Press CANCEL.
  • Make sure that the sealing ring has been fitted properly into the Instant Pot lid.
  • Set the VALVE to SEALING.
  • Wait for the pressure to release naturally.
  • Natural release pressure takes anywhere between 20 to 25 minutes depending on where you live.
  • When the pin drops, open the lid.
  • Mix everything once.
  • If you find that there is some water left, then press SAUTE mode on NORMAL for 5 MINUTES.
  • Allow the black chickpea curry to simmer until all water dries up.
  • Keep stirring every now and then to prevent burning.
  • Once dry, garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves.

Sookhe Chane- Stove Top Pressure Cooker Method

  • Hydrate the chickpeas as instructed above.
  • Heat a 5 liter deep pressure cooker pan with ghee.
  • Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to crackle.
  • When the cumin crackles, add the ginger and mix well.
  • Now, add the soaked chickpeas.
  • Add all the spice powders, Kala Namak and Kosher salt.
  • Pour in the water and stir to combine.
  • Close the lid and put the weight on.
  • Cook on medium flame for 8 whistles.
  • After 8 whistles, wait for the pressure to release naturally.
  • Open and mix gently.
  • If there is some water left, simmer on medium flame till all the water dries up.
  • When done, garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Top with fresh ginger juliennes and sliced green chilis before serving.


Recipe Notes

  1. Adding Heeng ( Asafetida) is optional but recommended. Skip this if you are looking for a gluten-free black chickpeas curry. Most Heeng have some gluten added to it. So please exercise caution.
  2. If your chickpeas are not cooked even after the mentioned cooking time, cook them for 15 minutes longer and allow natural pressure release, if you are using the instant pot.
  3. In case you are using a regular pressure cooker and the chickpeas are not cooked, then cook them for 5 more whistles on medium flame and wait for pressure to release naturally.
  4. This recipe uses ghee. This is the only non-vegan ingredient. Swap the ghee with any neutral flavored oil or cold-pressed coconut oil for a vegan chickpeas curry.
  5. Instant Pot timings vary based on geographic location.
  6. The nutritional values provided here are given as a courtesy. Please consult a nutrition specialist for more information and use this only as a rough guide.

For Instant Pot & Air Fryer Recipes

Instant Pot timings may vary based on your geographic location. Air fryer settings and timings may vary based on the capacity and the model of the Air fryer.


Nutrition values are provided here as a courtesy and are only a rough guide. Please consult a health care provider if you have any concerns.


Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 1311mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 529IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 5mg
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