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This flavorful sukha kala chana (dry black chickpeas) dish tastes divine when served with pooris and sheera. While it is often served as prasad (religious offering) it makes for an easy side dish on busy weeknights.
The first time I had this sukha kala chana was when I was invited to my neighbor’s place for kanya pooja (see note below for info on this ritual) during Navratri.
After she performed the pooja, she offered the nine girls she had invited a meal consisting of poori, halwa, and sukhe kala chana all cooked in homemade ghee.
The combination of poori with spicy kala chana with that sweet melt-in-the-mouth sooji halwa was pure bliss. Every time I have this dish it takes me back to my childhood and brings back those fond memories.
Kanya puja is a holy ritual performed on the 8th or the 9th day of the Navaratri festival which involves worshipping Goddess Durga.
Nine girls who are less than 10 years old are invited home to represent the nine forms of goddess Durga. They are then worshipped, given gifts, and served a meal consisting of halwa, puri, and kala chana.
Learn more about the significance of kanjak pooja.
Reasons to love this dry chana recipe
- It is effortless and hands-free – requires less than 5 minutes of prep time.
- It is vegan and gluten-free.
- Has no onion-garlic making it a popular food to eat during religious fasting.
- It not only makes for a great side dish but it is also a great any time snack.
Also, you don’t have to wait for Navaratri to make this dish. Enjoy this dish on weeknights as an accompaniment with either poori or roti. It goes well as a side dish with rice and dal as well.
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Looking for more side dish recipes?
Check out these four easy Indian side dishes that we make over and over again –
- Kaal chane ki kadhi – Kaale Channe Ki Kadhi or Black chickpeas in a yogurt gravy is a Rajasthani dish that comprises of black chickpeas cooked in spicy yogurt and chickpea flour (besan) gravy.
- Kadle Manoli is a vegetarian side dish from Mangalore that combines white or brown chana (chickpeas) and tindora (ivy gourd) and finished with grated coconut mixed with Kundapur masala.
- Kadle Suran Bhaji (Black Chickpeas with Yam) – This classic Mangalorean dish combines black chickpeas (kadle) with elephant foot yam to make a mildly spicy side dish with a hint of sweetness. Enjoy this dish with steaming hot rice and sambar.
- Beans poriyal is traditionally made over the stovetop, but this Instant-Pot version will blow your mind – because it pressure cooks in zero minutes. Pair it with rice and your favorite curry for a complete meal.
Sukha Kala Chana (Dry Black Chickpeas)
- 1.5 cups black chickpeas / chana soaked overnight
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Rinse and soak the chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight or at least for 6-8 hours
- Drain the chickpeas and add them to a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water
- Pressure cook chickpeas using a traditional pressure cooker (for 4-5 whistles). Allow it to completely cool before opening the lid.
- Alternatively, to cook the chickpeas in the Instant Pot, select 'Pressure Cook' and set the timer for 25 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Drain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid to use it in roti dough or dals.
Putting the dish together
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat and add cumin seeds to it.
- When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add all the spice powders – coriander, turmeric, chili, turmeric along with green chilies (if using) and saute it for about 10-20 seconds making sure it doesn't burn.
- Add the drained chickpeas and mix well.
- Do a taste test and add more salt if needed.
- Simmer it for 5 minutes and take it off heat.
- Serve hot with poori and halwa or enjoy it a side dish with dal and rice or as a snack.
- Kala chana sundal – Add 1/2 a teaspoon of mustard seeds along with cumin seeds and when they start to sizzle, add curry leaves. Feel free to skip the garam masala and instead garnish with grated coconut.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.