Khatta Chana

If not for this girl, I might not have known about Khatta Chana at all! She read about the dish in a cookbook, made it, loved it, wrote about it on her Facebook page, and it has become a staple at their house ever since. I found the recipe very interesting, bookmarked it, tried it out, and fell in love with it.

Kala chana khatta or khatta chana is, as the name suggests, a slightly sour-tasting dish made with black chickpeas. Super easy to prepare, it contains no onion or garlic. It is a ‘pahaadi’ (belonging to the hilly regions) recipe, quite commonly made in homes in Himachal Pradesh. It is a dish that is tasty and packed with nutrition. I specially liked the fact that you don’t need to throw away the water that you boil the chickpeas in; you use that too in the recipe. As far as I know, that water is very rich in nutrients.

The book from which this recipe was originally taken is called The Sood Family Cookbook, by Aparna Jain. Here are more details about the book and the recipe, in case you are interested.

Here’s how I made it…

Ingredients (for 2 people):

3 cups of black chana (chickpeas) – I used whole green chana, instead of black

3 tablespoons of besan (gram flour)

Salt, to taste

A bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped

Red chilli powder, to taste

Amchoor powder, to taste

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Powdered jaggery, to taste

2 teaspoons coriander powder

2 teaspoons cumin (jeera) powder

1 tablespoon oil

A pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin (jeera)


1. Wash the chickpeas thoroughly, and soak them overnight. Drain out the excess water in the morning. Add enough fresh water to cover the chickpeas and boil them in the pressure cooker. Give it about 4 whistles in the pressure cooker. Drain out the excess water – do not throw away the water, but reserve it for use later.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add the cumin and the asafoetida.

3. Add the boiled and drained chickpeas, gram flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt and amchoor powder.

4. Turn the flame on low. Saute for a minute or two.

5. Add the water you boiled the chickpeas in, which you reserved earlier. Add more water, if required. Add the powdered jaggery, to taste. Mix well. Let it cook for 7-10 minutes on a medium flame. Stir occasionally. This curry thickens as it cools down, so make sure you make it a little more watery than usual when you first cook it.

6. Switch off the gas. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.

Serve hot with rotis.


7 thoughts on “Khatta Chana

  1. Just wanted to tell you, I’ve just made this and it tastes absolutely yum! And so easy too. I used canned Kala chana and skipped jaggery as I’m not too fond of the sweet and sour taste. I love it purely sour. And it tastes fabulous!


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