Instant Pot Black Chickpeas or Sookha Kala Chana – This is an easy Indian dish made during the festival of Navratri.  It is vegan, gluten-free, and high in protein. Enjoy it 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 ever – Halwa Puri and 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. None the less, 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 much added ingredients.

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 that the white 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, you can still pressure cook them for 45 mins at high pressure. I made these Sookha Kala Chana in the Instant Pot. You can find these on Amazon or in 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

Blast from the past:

4.95 from 17 votes

Instant Pot Black Chickpeas / Sookha Kala Chana

Instant Pot Black Chickpeas or Sookha Kala Chana is an easy Indian dish made during the festival of Navratri. It is vegan, gluten free and high protein. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8




  • 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.


  • Additions: You can add curry leaves, julienned ginger along with the cumin seeds. In south India, this is called Kala Chana Sundal and garnished with fresh grated coconut. 
  • This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.


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

Hi..I’m Meeta. I am a former product specialist by profession, and a foodie at heart. I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need some inspiration to explore the ingredients and create great food. I share simple step-by-step recipes made using instant pot and other gadgets in the modern kitchen. I primarily cook Indian food, but I also love to cook global cuisines such as Italian, Thai, Mexican and more. Enjoy the world of awesome food!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Cooked them today, turned out awesome with ginger and curry leaves. I think it is easier to digest it as well compared to recipes with onions/tomatoes and water.

  2. How long should I cook 6 cups of Chana? Same time? And if the Chana is old how much should we change the time?

    1. Hi Djrahu – The cooking time remains the same even if you increase the quantity of Kala Chana. I would say you can add add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time if the chana is old. Happy Ashtami!

  3. i made it. I use kala chana from a can that is pre cooked. should I still leave it for 30 minutes? or will 5 minutes sufice?

    1. Hi Dhara – yes, the pressure cooking time will remain the same even if you reduce the quantity. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Another winner. Made this tonight and it brought me back to childhood to kanjaks. I loved the puri and dry Chana! Thank you!!

  5. Wow, I just made this chana recipe and it has turned out so delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to try some of your others!

  6. It looks delicious.. i love chana recipes but yeah never tried in instant pot… Awesome share.. i found your blog on insta… So happy to found you…
    Have a good day !

    1. Glad to have found you as well. You have a wonderful blog! Instant Pot is the most used gadget in our house now.

    1. Hey Indrani – For cooking I used 1 cup water for 2 cups of Chana, as I wanted to get a dry consistency. The chana was soaked for 4+ hours in ample water and then I drained that water before cooking. Hope you enjoy it!

  7. Hi,
    Just wanted to clarify – I hear from many people that soaking the dals/channa is not necessary as the pressure is good enough for it to cook easily. Is it true? have you tried to cook without soaking.

    Let me know your thoughts.


    1. Hey Pooja – Beans/Chickpeas can be cooked without soaking. However I have read that it is always better to soak and drain off the soaking water. In a pinch when I have to make something and forgot to soak, I do cook them without soaking. For this recipe, cook 45 mins on high pressure if using unsealed chana. For days, I typically cook without soaking. Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks – love all your recipes. This turned out great but the beans were not as soft as I’ve had before hen others make despite soaking overnight and pressure cooking in pot 40 minutes. Thoughts?

      2. Hi Amisha – Sometimes the black chickpeas (or beans) can take longer to cook, if they are old. It is hard to know how old chickpeas are as they are probably in stores before we buy them. In such cases, I note if a batch of chickpeas is taking longer to cook, and then adjust the cooking time accordingly. So glad to hear you have been enjoying the recipes.