- 2 cups of black gram ( Kala Chana)
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 3-4 Green chilies chopped
- 1 bay leaves
- 1” Cinnamon stick
- 2 brown cardamoms
- 4 tbsps cooking oil
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsps fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
- Wash and soak gram in water for 5-6 hours or overnight.
- Place gram, salt, water, one bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon in a pressure cooker. Close the lid and bring to boil, until you hear hissing sound. Turn heat down to low and cook for 10-15 minutes. Cool and check that they are soft when pressed. If not, cook for another 4-5 minutes more.
- Meanwhile grind onion, diced tomatoes, and green chilies to a fine paste.
- Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium flame. Add onion, ginger garlic paste, tomato paste, chopped green chilies and fry until it becomes little transparent. Add dry spices - cumin, coriander, red chili, turmeric and salt. Fry until the oil begins to separate from the paste.
- Add this masala to the boiled gram mix in the pressure cooker. Mix well. Add water to make gravy of your choice.
- Add garam masala and half the cilantro leaves. Simmer for 10-12 minutes. Take out in a serving bowl and mix in lemon juice.
- Garnish with rest of chopped cilantro leaves.
- Serve with hot plain boiled rice or roti/paratha and pickle.
Note: You can add chopped potatoes during the last 10 minutes of simmer cooking.
You can also add a tsp of tamarind pulp in place of lemon juice and 2 tsp Chana Masala for extra bite.
Do You Know?
Bengal gram is also known as Black Chickpea, Black gram, Yellow gram or Brown gram.
It is ‘Desi’ (meaning country or local in Hindi) kind of Chickpea. It has small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia and Iran.
Desi is likely the earliest form since it closely resembles seeds found on both archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor of domesticated chickpeas (cicer reticulatum) which only grows in southeast Turkey, where it is believed to have originated.
Desi chickpeas have markedly higher fiber content than Kabuli Chickpeas and hence a very low glycemic index which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems.
The desi type is used to make Chana Dal, which is a split chickpea with the skin removed.