Monday, November 5, 2012

Kala Channa :: Meatless Masala Monday

Kala channa, or black chick peas, are a type of chick pea that is nuttier and less likely to cook to a mush than the more common "white" chick peas. I recreated this kala channa dal from a distant memory of a dish my mom used to make. 

The result is an intensely flavorful dish, with competing flavors of spice and acidity, that is vastly different from other dal dishes.

I like kala channa on its own topped with chopped tomato and onion, I assure you, it is absolutely tasty this way.  

Kala Channa 
1 cup kala channa
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ajwan (carom) seeds
pinch of asofetida
2 dried red chiles
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
for garnish
1 tomato, chopped
cilantro, chopped

Soak the kala channa overnight in hot water. Pressure cook the kala channa with 2.5 cups of water for about 20 minutes. The chick peas should be tender but not mushy.

Heat oil in a large sauce pan over moderately high heat. Add mustard seeds and once they start popping, add ajwan seeds, dried red chiles, and asofetida. Add turmeric, red cayenne pepper, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Add cooked kala channa and salt, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 5-7 minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice as needed.

Pass chopped tomato and cilantro at the table.


  1. Yaaaay, Meatless Masala Monday is back:)

  2. What a beautiful dish. And perfect for a cold winter night. Thank you for sharing another meatless meal. Will be making this soon!


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