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Navratri Special Kala Chana

LunchMain CourseIndianVegan

The recipe that’s passed on to generations. The recipe which brings back a lot of childhood memories. It is my version of Navratri Special Dry Kala Chana Recipe. Enjoy this happy meal every Navratri season 🙂

STORY TIME

When I say that this recipe brings back a lot of childhood memories, I really mean it. We both have grown up eating the same meal – dry kala chana (black chickpeas), sooji halwa, and poori – every Navratri season. This Indian vegetarian recipe so addictive that we literally crave it even today. Obviously, you can make it anytime you want but somehow some recipes are meant to be made on occasion. They hit a different spot when made on that particular festival. Isn’t it?

I remember when I was a kid, I went to Vaishno Devi with my entire family. It was my brother’s mundan ceremony. I was 4 or 5 years old at that time. It was Navratri season and we all used to get a bowl of halwa chana poori with some money wherever we went. I have faded memories but I know that getting money with every bowl was very exciting for me and my sisters 😀 We used to go to our neighbor’s homes for Kanjak. They served us the tastiest meals and treated us like Devis, touched our feet for blessings, and while leaving, gifted us different things or sometimes just money. It was an amazing time. Can’t describe the happiness.

When we grew up, even though we don’t worship idols but we definitely try to make the same happy meal every year and if possible, do kanjak. When we were in Pune, we used to buy beautiful lunch boxes in bulk, pack them with this happy meal and go out on the streets and distribute it to the kids there. We created our own tradition.

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TIPS TO MAKE IT RIGHT

1 – Soaking

Kala Chana or dry chickpeas takes a long time to cook and get soft and mushy. It is very important to soak them a night before or at least for 6 to 8 hours.

2 – Consistency

Some people make it absolutely dry but we prefer a little gravy-like consistency. It tastes better with pooris and halwa. It is not curried but has a little mashed-up consistency. I simply mash it a little from the back of the ladle or spatula once it is done. Don’t overdo it otherwise it will become like a halwa. Also, the kala chana has the tendency to keep on absorbing water. So, adjust the consistency accordingly. Switch off the flame when it still has some water left. Because once rested for a few minutes, it tends to get dry. You will know when you make it. Don’t worry.

WHAT TO DO IF THE SABJI GETS DRY?

As I said, kala chana keeps on absorbing water. The leftover chana gets very dry. I simply add a little water depending on the consistency I need and let it cook well for a few minutes till it is hot. Cooking for a little while at this stage is important otherwise you will get the taste of water in the sabji. And don’t worry. It is not rocket science. It is very simple.

IS THIS RECIPE VEGAN?

Yes. It is a 100% plant-based recipe.

Generally, this recipe is made using ghee. But since I don’t eat ghee or avoid dairy, I make it using cooking oil. It tastes absolutely delicious.

More Vegan Recipes for you to try – Fudgy Chocolate Brownie, Banana Walnut Muffins, Thai Green Curry.

HOW TO COOK KALA CHANA?

Before cooking Kala Chana or black chickpeas, always soak them in water overnight or at least for 6 to 8 hours. This step is very important because it helps in the faster cooking of chickpeas. After they are soaked for hours, they absorb the water and become bigger in size. That is why always soak them in a bigger bowl with a water level at least 3 inches above the level of chana.

To cook chickpeas, you will need either a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.

Pressure Cooker:

Add chickpeas to the pressure cooker with enough water. Add some salt and anardana powder to it. Close the lid and let them cook on high flame till the first whistle. After a whistle, lower the flame and cook for another 20 minutes. Let it depressurize on its own. Once depressurized, you will notice that the chickpeas are soft and tender. They should get mashed on pressing between the fingers.

Instant Pot:

This is the easiest method to cook anything. You just need to add chickpeas, water, some salt, and other seasonings. Close the lid and choose the PRESSURE COOK mode. It cooks in 20 – 25 minutes. Then, let it release the pressure on its own.

I would suggest not to use any pot or pan to cook chickpeas. They take a very long time to get soft and well cooked.

That’s it, my dear friend. You are all ready to make this kala chana recipe at home. It is one of the best Indian Vegetarian Recipes. It is perfect for an office lunch box too. So, grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a delicious happy meal for yourself.

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Happy Cooking.

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Navratri Special Kala Chana

Recipe that reminds the childhood.

Servings

2

Prep Time

5 min

Cook Time

35 min

Rest Time

0 min

Ingredients

Pressure Cook Chana

  • 250 g Kala Chana pre-soaked
  • 500 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Anardana Powder
  • Salt to taste

Spice Mix

  • 1 tsp Dhania Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1 tsp Amchur Powder

Other

  • 2 Green Chilli chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil / Ghee

Steps

Pressure Cook Chana

  1. Pre-soak Kala chana overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hrs. 
  2. Wash it 2 - 3 times with water.
  3. Add them to the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. I am using Instant Pot. 
  4. Add water, anardana powder, and salt. Pressure Cook for 20-25 minutes. If you are using a pressure cooker, cook on high flame till 1 whistle. Then, lower the flame and cook for another 20 minutes. The Kala chana should be well cooked and soft.
    Let the cooker depressurize itself.
  5. Once done, strain the chana but do not discard the water. We will need it later. Keep it aside.

Tempering

  1. In a pan, add cooking oil or ghee and let it heat.
  2. Once heated, add cumin seeds and let it sizzle for a few seconds till it turns dark brown. 
    Keep the flame medium-high.
  3. Add asafoetida and stir for 5 to 7 seconds. It burns fast. So, keep the flame on medium-low.
  4. Add boiled Kala chana and spice mix. Keep mixing for 2 minutes on high flame. 
  5. Add green chilies and water in which chana has been boiled. Mix well. Cover and let it cook till you get the desired consistency.
    Kala chana keeps on absorbing water once cooled. So, keep the consistency accordingly.
  6. We prefer a little mashed-up gravy-like Kala chana. Once the water is a little absorbed, I slightly mash the chanas using the back of the spatula/ladle. 
    If it dries out, add a little water and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Once you get the desired consistency, add roasted cumin powder. Mix well and switch off the flame. The Kala chana is ready to be served.
  8. Serve with sooji halwa and poori. This combination is addictive. Enjoy your happy meal at home :)
frequently asked questions

FAQs

Is Navratri Special Kala Chana Recipe Vegan?
+
Yes. It is a 100% plant-based recipe. Generally, this recipe is made using ghee. But since I don’t eat ghee or avoid dairy, I make it using cooking oil. It tastes absolutely delicious.

How to cook kala chana or black chickpeas?
+
Before cooking Kala Chana or black chickpeas, always soak them in water overnight or at least for 6 to 8 hours. This step is very important because it helps in the faster cooking of chickpeas. After they are soaked for hours, they absorb the water and become bigger in size. That is why always soak them in a bigger bowl with a water level at least 3 inches above the level of chana. To cook chickpeas, you will need either a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.

Pressure Cooker:

Add chickpeas to the pressure cooker with enough water. Add some salt and anardana powder to it. Close the lid and let them cook on high flame till the first whistle. After a whistle, lower the flame and cook for another 20 minutes. Let it depressurize on its own. Once depressurized, you will notice that the chickpeas are soft and tender. They should get mashed on pressing between the fingers.

Instant Pot:

This is the easiest method to cook anything. You just need to add chickpeas, water, some salt, and other seasonings. Close the lid and choose the PRESSURE COOK mode. It cooks in 20 – 25 minutes. Then, let it release the pressure on its own. I would suggest not to use any pot or pan to cook chickpeas. They take a very long time to get soft and well cooked.

How to correct the leftover totally dry kala chana?
+
Kala chana keeps on absorbing water. The leftover chana gets very dry. I simply add a little water depending on the consistency I need and let it cook well for a few minutes till it is hot and boiling. Cooking for a little while at this stage is important otherwise you will get the taste of water in the sabji. And don’t worry. It is not rocket science. It is very simple.

What are the ingredients of Navratri?
+
Everyone has different Navratri fasting rules. But I feel fasting is not to impress any god but to rejuvenate and reset your body. During Navratri, include more raw vegetables and fruits in your diet. Eat nuts, seeds, makhanas, and dates because they keep you full. You can include different millets like buckwheat (kuttu) and samai. You can buy their rawa and make something like upma with different vegetables and peanuts. You can even buy buckwheat flour or singhara atta and make some thalipeeth or roti. I prefer to avoid pooris and halwa since they get very oily and greasy. My idea is to relax the stomach. Apart from that, you can have milk (dairy or coconut), curd (dairy or coconut), and quinoa too. For salt, use natural, unprocessed, and no chemical salt. It is called sendha namak in India or you can also buy Himalayan Pink Salt since that is also chemical-free and natural. Things that are avoided are – onion, garlic, lentils, rice, whole wheat, millets like ragi, foxtail millet, etc., and regular salt. I have a lot of fasting recipes in my youtube channel. Please have a look.

Which Salt is used in Navratri?
+

For salt, use natural, unprocessed, and no chemical salt. It is called sendha namak in India or you can also buy Himalayan Pink Salt since that is also chemical-free and natural.


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