Punjabi Kala chana curry is easy and flavourful Punjabi style curry. In this simple and easy kala chana curry recipe, boiled black chickpeas are cooked in Onion and tomato masala along with spices that make this fragrant and flavourful. Kala chana curry is often served with steamed rice or chapati.
Last week I started this series of everyday Indian recipes, Punjabi Kala Chana curry or Kale chane ki sabzi is the second recipe in the series. The reason for starting the series was, partly I miss the food that we have grown up eating, and another reason that somehow amidst the fancy food available these days somehow these simple recipes are losing their appeal. So, I wanted to document such simple and healthy recipes which might lose their appeal owing to the simplicity.
When we talk about North Indian food and especially Punjabi food, it is highly misunderstood. Most of the people visualize restaurant style cream and butter laden food like Dal Makhani, butter nan, chole masala, butter paneer etc. But only very few know that these are the few things, which you will rarely find on the table in a Punjabi household.
Yes! we do love our ghee, Lassi, and milk, but that’s it, we really don’t use copious amounts the way it is served in restaurants. Most of our Punjabi curries at home are not those disgusting floating with oil and overtly spicy curries. For example, kala Chana curry is one of these healthy light curries which you hardly see on any restaurant menu, but it is cooked very often in Punjabi homes.
Kala Chana is known by many names, horse gram, black chickpeas, Kadala in southern India or in some parts as Bengal gram. It is a very nutritious legume, a single cup of kale Chana provides you almost 15g of protein, which is good enough to meet the 31% daily recommended allowance for women, and 26% for the men. Not only this it very rich source of dietary fiber 12 g in 1 cup which is 35% of daily requirement. That’s not all, Kala Chana is food with very low Glycemic Index of 8, which makes it an ideal food for diabetics.
There is this interesting story I came across here, when Emperor Shahjahan was put in prison by his own son Aurangzeb, he restricted Shahjahan’s diet to one food. Emperor chose koala Chana because he knew the health benefits. I don’t really know how true is this story, but one thing is true, Kala Chana is very healthy, and you can include it in your diet in various ways. Punjabi Kala Chana curry is one of the recipes you can cook with Kala Chana or black chickpeas.
You can cook kala Chana curry according to the desired consistency, thin and soupy if you are eating with rice, or a thicker and reduced gravy to go along with roti or paratha. Always soak the Chana for a few hours and cook it in the pressure cooker, it reduces the cooking time. You can always boil some extra to use it in salads and soups.
This Kala Chana curry recipe I have learned from my mother, it was passed on to her by my grandmother. Nothing complicated about it, but amazes me that they knew the healthy properties of foods back then, and always found little additions or ways to add to the nutrition value.
For example, this is the recipe where we soak kala Chana with dried amla (Indian gooseberries), a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals and further enhances the nutrition profile of the Kala Chana curry. So you see there is so much more to a curry than fats and calories.
If you love kala chana or black chickpeas, other than this kala chana curry you may also like to try Kala chana pulao
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