One-Pot Kala Chana Masala| Black Chickpea Pressure Cooker Curry

Kala Chana Masala is a beauty of a dish made using black chickpeas, a flavourful gravy that is a family favorite. With pooris, naan, rotis or parathas – just about any kind of flatbread – it makes for a wonderful accompaniment. We love slurping this up with some hot steamed rice too. Today, I am going to share with you all the recipe for this dish, the way I make it.

All of us at home are big fans of the rustic, earthy texture of black chickpeas aka kala chana. We love the way they lend themselves beautifully to a variety dishes. I have already shared the Pani Poori recipe and Kala Chana Nu Rasavalu Shaak in which we often use these chickpeas, and now there’s this one.

What goes into Kala Chana Masala?

Black chickpeas are the main ingredient, of course, cooked in a tomato and onion gravy. The home-made Punjabi chana masala powder that goes into it elevates the flavour quotient by several notches. It is finished with a touch of kasoori methi i.e. dried fenugreek leaves and some fresh coriander.

There are no fancy ingredients in this curry, no thickening agent, no artificial additives – only honest to God ingredients. Yet, this Kala Chana Masala gravy turns out delightfully thick and very, very delicious.

It is not a very difficult dish to prepare. You do need some prior preparation, in terms of soaking the black chickpeas overnight. Once that is done, though, it is a simple thing to put together. What I have shared here is a one-pot recipe, which can be easily made in a pressure cooker.

#FamilyFavorite at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I am sharing this recipe in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this Monday is #FamilyFavorite, wherein all of us are showcasing recipes that are hits in our respective families.

Aruna, a very talented cook and the author of Vasu’s Veg Kitchen, was the one who suggested the theme this week. Check out the lovely home-made chocolates that Aruna has prepared for the theme – I’m soooo tempted to give them a go myself!

How to make One-Pot Kala Chana Masala

Here is how I make it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1 cup black chickpeas
  2. 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  3. 1 small onion
  4. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  5. 5-6 garlic cloves
  6. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  7. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  8. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  11. Red chilli powder to taste
  12. 2-3 teaspoons chana masala or to taste
  13. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  14. 1/2 tablespoon kasoori methi
  15. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Below top right: Step 3, Bottom left and right: Step 4

1. Soak the black chickpeas in enough water to cover them fully, for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. When the chickpeas are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Transfer them to a wide vessel. Add in fresh water, about an inch above the chickpeas. Place the vessel in the pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked chickpeas out. You know that they are done when you are able to crush them entirely between two fingers – there should be no hardness. Retain the water in which the chickpeas were cooked, too.

4. Now, chop the tomatoes finely. Peel the onion, ginger and garlic and chop roughly. Grind the tomatoes, ginger, onion and garlic together to a smooth puree. Keep aside. 

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Below top right: Step 7, Bottom left and right: Steps 8 and 9

5. Now we will start preparing the One-Pot Kala Chana Masala. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker bottom and add in the cumin. Allow it to sputter. Add in the asafoetida and let it stay in for a couple of seconds.

6. Add the tomato puree to the cooker. Turn the flame down to medium. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till the raw smell of the paste is completely gone. Stir intermittently.

7. Add salt to taste and the turmeric powder.

8. Add in the red chilli powder.

9. Also add in the cooked black chickpeas, along with the water they were cooked in. Add in 1/2 cup of water or as needed. Mix well.

Top left and right: Step 10, Below top right: Step 11, Bottom left: The gravy, after pressure cooking, Bottom right: Step 12

10. Add in the chana masala and jaggery powder. Mix well. Taste and adjust salt and spices.

11. Close the pressure cooker. Allow 2 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

12. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, mix in the finely chopped coriander. Crush the kasoori methi roughly between the palms of your hands and mix it in too. Your One-Pot Kala Chana Masala is ready – serve it with hot with flatbread of your choice or steamed rice.

Is this a vegan and gluten-free recipe?

This is a completely vegetarian recipe, one that is vegan as well. It is suitable for those following a plant-based diet.

To make this gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the recipe. Most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet.

The home-made chana masala I have used here is vegan and gluten-free as well. However, if you are using a store-bought spice blend, do ensure that the ingredients used therein suit your dietary requirements.

Tips & Tricks

1. You may skip adding the jaggery, though I would personally recommend it. The little amount of jaggery used does not make the Kala Chana Masala sweet, but rounds off the other flavours beautifully.

2. I have used home-made Punjabi chana masala powder here. You may use a store-bought version instead, too.

3. Adjust the amount of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the Kala Chana Masala you require.

4. The chana masala I have used here has some amount of tanginess to it. I have also used the tart ‘Nati‘ (country) tomatoes here as opposed to the ‘farmed’ ones. Hence, I did not need to use lemon juice or any other souring agent. However, if you need to, you may add in some amchoor powder or lemon juice to taste.

5. I have used a large 7.5-litre pressure cooker here.

6. After the cooked chickpeas are added in, you may do away with the pressure cooking. In that case, simply cook uncovered on medium flame for about 5 minutes or till the gravy thickens. I prefer the pressure cooker method, though.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

8 thoughts on “One-Pot Kala Chana Masala| Black Chickpea Pressure Cooker Curry

  1. Aha what an amazing and super inviting chana masala that too using black chickpeas. Boiled black chickpeas are my all time favorite, I am going to try this recipe soon. Loved gravy color it looks very creamy, can imagine the taste of jaggery in it 🙂


  2. This curry with that hint of jaggery makes it a delectable treat with rotis / jeera rice. looks delish for sure..


  3. Kala chana masala looks so inviting and perfect side for chapati/roti. Making it in one pot is such a breeze and saves a lot of time. checking the Punjabi chana masala recipe


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