Recipe & Ritual | Spices & Herbs

Kalay chanay

AKA Chickpea stew
Kala chana or Black Chickpeas are very high in protein among having numerous other health benefits from aiding weight loss to healthy hair.  It rivals meat dishes in regards to amount of protein (approx 15g per cup) and it also has a similar taste to meat stew dishes.  It’s intoxicating in it’s richness of taste. In part the rich taste comes from the use of Fenugreek seeds, the long cooking duration gives ample time for it’s unique bittersweet flavours to be immersed into the sauce. This dish can be great for people who are are looking for meat alternatives whether it be from a nutritious perspective or taste.  But also it stands up in its own right and if you don’t mind the preparation time then you will be wholly rewarded.


Servings: 4 peopl
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Calories: 649kcal


  • 500 grams Black Chick peas
  • 2 litres Water
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Onions Finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 4 cloves Garlic Grated or finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 125 grams Tomato puree
  • 40 grams Ginger Grated or very finely shopped
  • 1 1/4 tsp Ground turmeric
  • 900 ml Water
  • 2 Potatoes Medium size, Cut into 1&1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garam masala


Soak and prepare the Chickpeas

  • Clean the chickpeas in a siv and pick out any dirts or stone.
  • Add the chickpeas and the water into a deep pan. Cover with a lid and then let it rest overnight.
  • Soak overnight for at least 12 hours.
  • The next day, simmer the Chickpeas for two hours.

Prepare the paste (Tadka)

  • In a deep pan. Add the Butter/Ghee into a pan and bring to a sizzle on a medium heat.
  • Add the Fenugreek seeds and Cumin seeds, when they start to cackle add the garlic.
  • When the garlic starts to soften or to brown, add the onions followed by the salt.
  • Heat on a low-medium heat.
  • When the onions have started to brown, add the chillies.
  • After a few minutes add the tomatoes, quickly followed by the the ginger and the turmeric.

Cook the Chickpeas

  • With a large Siv, separate the water from the chickpeas. Keep the water on standby.
  • Add the chickpeas to the paste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the previously separated water back into the chickpeas and paste mix.
  • Add the additional water.
  • Now simmer for at least another 1/2 hour, you will notice the sauce starting to get thicker.
  • Cook for longer if you prefer the consistency to be thicker.
  • Add the gharam masala and stir it in.
  • Add the potatoes and cover the deep pan.
  • Cook for another 20 minutes until the potatoes have become soft enough to eat.
  • Garnish with the fresh Coriander.


Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 1106mg | Potassium: 1748mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 819IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 11mg
Recipe tips

Put some black chick peas aside after they have initially been cooked to use them in other dishes like salads.

Recipe variations

Slightly mash the chickpeas before adding them to the sauce at the end, to make for a thicker gravy alternative

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