Kale Chane – the Iron Man’s Curry

Kala Chana or black chickpea is a cousin of white chickpea. Also known as desi chana, it has smaller, darker seeds than Kabuli chana(white chickpea). Being extremely rich in iron and protein, it is a power food for children. I remember, as a kid, Mum would give us the soup left after boiling the chana to drink.  It didn’t taste very good, so I used to just gulp it down!

Kale Chane can be prepared in many ways. A lightly seasoned dry recipe cooked during Navratri is very popular. Kala Chana Sundal and Kerala’s Kadala Curry are some other lip smacking recipes from South India where the chane are tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut.

This recipe is the north Indian Punjabi version in which chickpeas are cooked in an onion tomato gravy. The masala prepared in this recipe is same as the one used for Rajma. Enjoy this delicious curry with rice/rotis.

  • Serves: 4
  • Cooking time: 40 min
  • Preparation time: 20 min

What will you need

  • 1 cup kale chane
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • Salt as required
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)

How to make it

Boiling Kale Chane

  1. Chane should be soaked overnight before boiling. If you do not have enough time to soak them overnight, soak them in warm water for 2-3 hours before boiling. Warm water will help to expedite softening of the chickpea.
  2. Add 7-8 cups of water for soaking.
  3. Once soaked, add 1 tsp salt and boil in a pressure cooker.
  4. After the 1st whistle, lower the heat and let them simmer for 15-20 minutes. Switch off the heat.
  5. Once the pressure is released from the cooker, check if the chickpeas are soft enough to bite.They should well cooked but not mushy. There should be enough liquid left after boiling.

Preparing the masala for gravy

  1. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan. When hot, add 1tsp cumin seeds.
  2. Saute them till they are brown. Add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste.Lower the heat
  3. When the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away, add the onion paste.
  4. Cook until starts leaving oil on the sides. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  5. Then add the blended tomatoes.
  6. When the tomatoes are half cooked, add 1/4 tsp chilli powder(add more depending on the heat in your powder) and 1 heaped tsp coriander powder.Add  1/4 tsp salt.
  7. Cook until the tomatoes also leave oil on the sides. You can add 1/4tsp garam masala.
  8. Add the prepared masala to the boiled chickpea. If the consistency is too thick, add more water.
  9. Taste the salt, add more if required.  Finally close the pressure cooker and boil on high heat until the 1st whistle. Lower the heat.
  10. Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Iron rich Kale Chane are ready to be served.

 

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