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  • Writer's pictureAvni R.

Khatta Mittha Kala Chana Dal

Kala chana - the other chickpea, the less popular one and primarily seen in Indian cuisine only. It’s also known as bengal gram. I love this ingredient, its earthier in flavor than white chickpeas. They also hold up better structurally. Don’t get me wrong, I still love white chickpeas too! Kala chana has some health benefits as well. It helps prevent hair loss as well as lowering cholesterol. It's also high in protein, and good for diabetics due to its low glycemic index.

This recipe is another one I learned from home. It’s spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet! The gravy is made from toasted chickpea flour/besan which creates a nice creamy base. This recipe also requires no cutting or chopping of any sort, so you have no excuse not to make this! You should already have all the ingredients on hand as they are all pantry staples. Hope you all enjoy this one from my kitchen to yours!


Khatta Mitta Kala Chana Dal


  • 1/2 cup kala chana (black chickpeas), uncooked* (see note)

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

  • Pinch of hing/asafetida

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 1 stem curry leaves (about 10-12 leaves)

  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour/besan

  • 1 inch ginger, grated

  • 3-4 green chili, crushed

  • 1.5 tsp brown sugar or jaggery

  • Salt to taste

  • Squeeze of half a lemon

  • Handful of chopped cilantro, for garnish


1. Soak chana overnight or for 4-6 hours. Drain and rinse. Add chana to Instant Pot* with about 4-5 cups of water and pressure cook on high for 40 minutes then let pressure naturally release for 15 min. Once chana is cooked, drain and set aside.

*If you’re using a regular pressure cooker then let it cook for 4-5 whistles then let pressure naturally release.

2. Add oil in a pot over medium heat, once oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sputtering, add hing, turmeric, curry leaves, and besan. Stir to combine everything, the besan should look slightly foamy at this point. Toast it for about 1-2 minutes then add chana and 2 cups water. Mix well.

3. Next add ginger, green chili, sugar, and salt. Mix, then using the back of your spoon, smash some of the chana to slightly crush them. Let everything simmer for about 5-7 minutes, the gravy will thicken as it reduces and become nice and creamy. Add lemon juice and give one last stir. Then garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice and roti!

*Note: This recipe is enough for about 2-3 servings, definitely double it if cooking for more people.


Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see your recreation! Please tag me @thecurriedcook or #thecurriedcook so I can see!

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