Spicy Black Chickpeas (Kala Chana)

This spicy Black Chickpeas /Kala Chana Curry is known as Ghughni in my native state and is quite popular as a street snack. Paired with puffed rice and onion fritters, this curry is present in almost all street side snack shops. You can also see people sipping tea and discussing politics over these spicy plates.

In the Lane of Nostalgia

 In my childhood days, I went to every nook and corner of Bihar and Jharkhand, all thanks to my dad’s administrative service job. The rural areas of Jharkhand had plenty of things that were fascinating to our curious minds. One thing that makes me nostalgic even today was how the vendors served us snacks and fruits in leaves which they called “dona.” Today, my plating was inspired by that memory which still feels fresh in my mind. In Bihar, the combination of flattened rice/chura, ghughani (black chickpeas spicy curry) and onion pakora called pyazi are quite popular. My husband loves it since these delicacies remind him of his childhood days.

Why Should You Try Black Chickpea Curry?

Black chickpeas have a high fibre and protein content and a very low glycemic index. It is quite helpful for taking care of various stomach-related and cholesterol issues. This is an ingredient we should try to incorporate in our diet as much as we can.

What Should You Serve with Black Chickpea Curry?

These chickpeas are a wonderful meal by itself. Pair this with some salad and green chutney and they are absolutely finger-licking delicious. You can serve this with white rice, puffed rice, or flattened rice. Fritters, quinoa, or couscous, can also be paired with this dish because of its versatility. You can pair them with any type of Indian bread as well. They are just amazing with so many things.

What Ingredients Do We Need to Make Black Chickpea Curry?

We just need black chickpeas and a few pantry and fridge staples for this dish. All the ingredients are easily available in an Indian grocery store or any ethnic / Asian store.

Black Chickpeas- In India, the chickpeas are a little big and black in color, but God knows I have tried yet never found that type in my local stores. For the last 15 years, I have been trying, and still no luck.

Onion- I like to use red onions while making the curry, but you can certainly use onions of your choice.

Tomato– I prefer to use good quality vine ripe tomatoes, but that is not required for you at all. Feel free to use any of those.

Ginger-Garlic Paste– I use fresh homemade paste. There are many varieties of ginger-garlic paste that are available in the market, but personally, I don’t like to use them. They don’t have that fragrance which is present in fresh ones, and making this paste in my Vitamix blender or mortar pestle only takes a few minutes.

Other than that, we will use a few spices and herbs like coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, dry mango powder, as well as oil, salt, and fresh cilantro leaves. The squeezing of lemon/lime juice and green chilies are optional.

Spicy Black Chickpeas

Black chickpeas coated in a spicy, flavorful sauce.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine Indian Cuisine.
Servings 4


  • 1.5 Cups Black Chickpeas(Kala Chana)
  • 2 Medium Onion(sliced)
  • 1 Big tomato(sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste.
  • 2 Green Chillies(chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Red Chilli Powder(optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 Tsp Dry Mango Powder/Anardana Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Powder Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Mustard Oil /Oil of your choice.
  • 2 Small Bay leaves
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Dry Red Chilli
  • Pinch Of Asafoetida.
  • 3-4 Lemon /Lime Wedges
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Chopped Cilantro Leaves.
  • 1 Small Onion(Sliced)
  • 1 Green Chilli or Jalapeno sliced


  • Rinse and soak the black chickpeas overnight or 8 hours.
  • Boil the black chickpeas with 4 cups of water in Instant pot .Boil them for 20 minutes or till they are cooked but not mushy.
  • After the steam comes naturally ,remove it in a bowl and keep them aside.
  • Take a Pan /Wok .Add oil to it. When its hot add bay leaf ,dry red chilli and cumin seeds to it .
  • Add chopped onion to it .Saute it for 2-3 minutes on low /medium flame till onion looks light brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste to it .Saute it till it looks mixed with onion and raw smell is gone.It will take around 1 minute.
  • Add turmeric powder ,coriander ,cumin powder ,red chilli , powder ,Dry mango powder and chopped green chilli to it .
  • Stir it on low medium flame till all the spices looks cooked.
  • Add chopped tomato to it .Mix it with all the other spices and cook for 3-4 minute .If you think your spice mix is burning or sticking to the pan ,add 2 tbsp of water to it .Stir it .At this time add 1 tsp of oil to it .
  • When its cooked in next 5-6 minute. It will release the oil.
  • Mix boiled chickpeas at this time .Add garam masala to it.
  • Now add water to it .i have kept it little dry but you can add 2 cups of water for curry consistency.
  • Let it cook for 4-5 minute or till it reaches the consistency of your liking.
  • Taste the seasoning ,if you have to adjust ,adjust it now.
  • Garnish with green chillis ,cilantro leaves and lemon wedges.
  • Serve .

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