This Dry Black Chickpeas or Sukha Kala Chana is an easy Indian dish made during the festival of Navratri. Make it in the instant pot or stovetop. It is vegan, gluten free and high protein. Enjoy this dry kala chana recipe the traditional way with Halwa and puri, or make a salad with chopped veggies.

Kala Chana in Instant Pot. Black Chickpeas in Pressure Cooker

It is the best combination – Halwa, Puri and Dry Chana

During Navratri, Kala Chana is served along with Halwa and Puri (see picture above). The idea is to have dishes without onion or garlic during Navratri.

This is a 9-day festival, where on the 8th or 9th day(Ashtami or Navmi) 9 little girls (called Kanjak’s) are revered, fed this delicious food, and given presents. Nonetheless, this used to be my favorite day – good food and presents!

In North India, Kala Chana is made with just some basic spices and tangy dry mango powder or lemon juice. In South India, this is called Kala Chana Sundal, and garnished with freshly grated coconut. You will be surprised how delicious this can be without many added ingredients.

kala chana, puri and halwa served in a plate

If you want to try more kala chana recipes, I have shared the recipe for Punjabi Kala Chana Curry. If you like chaat, try this delicious Kala Chana Chaat recipe.

Black Chickpeas or Kala Chana Nutrition

Black Chickpeas are dark-born and smaller in size than the more commonly found white chickpeas. A half cup of dried black chickpeas has 360 calories, 5 grams of fat, 60 grams of carbs, 17 grams of fiber, and a whopping 19 grams of protein. They are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index. These chickpeas are even more nutrition-packed than the white garbanzo chickpeas.

How to cook Black Chickpeas in Instant Pot?

It is important to soak black chickpeas before cooking. It helps with cooking faster as the chickpeas soak in the water and increase in size. However, if you forget to soak them, you can still pressure cook them for 45 minutes at high pressure. I made these Sookha Kala Chana in the Instant Pot. You can find these on Amazon or at an Indian grocery store (much cheaper).

There are 2 ways to make these chickpeas –

  • The traditional way is to pressure cook the kala chana in ample water. Then drain the excess water and separately temper them with cumin seeds and spices.
  • The method I have shared here is a one-pot method, where I first add the tempering and then pressure cook the chickpeas along with the tempering.
Instant Pot Kala Chana. Pressure Cooker Black Chickpeas

I like the second method more, as it is a one-pot way of making this dish in a pressure cooker.  It is less work and has the same great taste. Give it a try, and let me know it turns out.

Instant Pot Kala Chana Black Chickpeas

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to soak the kala chana for at least 6-8 hours and up to overnight.
  • In case you forget to soak, then soak in hot water for 1-2 hours.
  • It is best to use a pressure cooker when cooking black chana. You can use a stovetop pressure cooker or an instant pot.
  • If after cooking, the kala chana are not soft (check by pressing between your thumb and index finger and it should mash easily), then pressure cook again for 8-10 minutes. You can also add a pinch of baking soda, which will help to soften the kala chana.
  • You can use white garbanzo beans to make this dry chana recipe too.

How to Serve?

These dry kala chana is best served with poori and halwa on Ashtami or Navmi for prasad.

My kids love these as a side with dal or kadhi and rice, or enjoy it with roti.

Enjoy them as a salad by adding chopped tomatoes, onions and cilatro. Here is my kala chana salad recipe.

More Chickpea Recipes

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4.95 from 19 votes

Dry Kala Chana Recipe (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

This Dry Black Chickpeas or Sukha Kala Chana is an easy Indian dish made during the festival of Navratri. Make it in the instant pot or stovetop. It is vegan, gluten free and high protein. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

Spices

Instructions 

Instant Pot Method (One-pot)

  • Start the pressure cooker in Sauté mode and let it heat.  Add oil, cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds splutter about 30 seconds. 
  • Add the spices and mix them with the oil. Quickly add the soaked black chickpeas and mix them with the spices (quickly, so the spices don't burn being in the hot oil for long).   
  • Stir in the water for cooking. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Cook in manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 30 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do a natural pressure release. 
  • Add dry mango powder and mix it well with the kala chana. If there is liquid, in the pot, you can put on sauté mode again to dry it. It will also dry off as the chana cool down.  
  • Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy with the puri and halwa. Another great way to enjoy these is as a high protein salad. Add diced onions, tomatoes and lemon juice. Other add on's that work great are diced mango or avocado.

Stovetop Method

  • Drain chickpeas and add them to a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook the chickpeas using a stovetop pressure cooker on high heat. After the first whistle, reduce heat to medium-low and let it cook for 20-22 minutes (6-7 whistles). Allow the pressure to release naturally, then open the lid.
  • Drain the chickpeas, but reserve the liquid. It can be used in roti dough or dals. We will also use some later when sautéing.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add cumin seeds to it. Let them sizzle for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the spices and mix them with the oil.
  • Add the drained chickpeas, and half cup of the reserved water and mix well.
  • Let the chickpeas cook for 5-7 minutes, then take it off heat. The water will all get absorbed by this time.
  • Add dry mango powder and mix it well with the kala chana. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy with the puri and halwa, or with dal, rice and roti. 

Notes

Tips
  • Make sure to soak the kala chana for at least 6-8 hours and up to overnight. In case you forget to soak, then soak in hot water for 1-2 hours.
  • If after cooking, the kala chana are not soft (check by pressing between your thumb and index finger and it should mash easily), then pressure cook again for 8-10 minutes. You can also add a pinch of baking soda, which will help to soften the kala chana.
Variations: You can use white garbanzo beans to make this dry chana recipe too.
Additions: You can add curry leaves, and julienned ginger along with the cumin seeds. In south India, this is called Kala Chana Sundal and garnished with freshly grated coconut. 
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 9gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 311mgPotassium: 459mgFiber: 8gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 140IUVitamin C: 2.9mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 3.6mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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26 Comments

  1. This recipe unfortunately did not work the first time around as the chickpeas were still quite hard after the first 30 minutes 🙁

    1. Hi Andrew – Did you soak the chickpeas? Sometimes the chickpeas are old, and can take longer to cook even under pressure. Just ad extra time, about 10-15 depending on how hard they are.