Black Chana Soup (Kala Chana Soup)

Black chana soup is an easy wholesome soup recipe that combines Indian curry flavors with chickpeas. Learn how to make chana soup with a homemade soup mix that’s so delicious and perfect for a cozy family dinner.

black chana soup served in three blue soup bowls.

About the recipe

Kala chana soup is a veg clear soup, Indian-style made with black chickpeas (you can also use regular chickpeas), vegetables and an easy homemade spice mix made with a bunch of delicious spices. This gluten-free, vegan chana soup is a delicious treat, healthy meal in a bowl AND comfort food that will blow your mind!

Of all my soup recipes, this kala chana recipe is closest to my heart, since I grew up devouring it. My mom used to make this at least once a week and the aroma that filled the kitchen would make all of us hungry. To this date, I’ve never got bored of this soup. And will never be.

If you’re not aware, kala chana literally means black chickpeas that have a stronger nutty flavor than the regular ones. Kala chana recipes are quite common in Indian cuisine, like curries, chaats and salads. It tastes great when substituted for the regular chickpeas in the easy chana salad or chana masala.

Ingredients

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Homemade soup mix

This black chana soup recipe uses an authentic spice blend with a bunch of SPICES (used in Indian curries) that make it quite flavorful. The long list of ingredients can be intimidating, but it is very easy to make. I love using fresh homemade ground spices, as I did for the easy chana masala recipe. They’re very flavorful, super easy to make and you can customize it according to your preference.

You will need split pigeon pea lentils (toor dal), cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise, chili flakes (optional), cumin seeds, coriander seeds, pepper and fennel seeds. Dry roast these spices, cool and grind using a spice grinder or coffee grinder.

Kala chana (black/brown chickpeas)

Kala chana has a deeper flavor than the more popular beige-colored ones. The black chana can be replaced with the regular ones, but with a slight difference in taste and texture.

Canned chickpeas can also be used for this soup. Here I’ve used dried ones that need to be soaked overnight (or a minimum of 8 hours) and then cooked.

Vegetables

This is a chana veg clear soup recipe where you can use ANY VEGETABLES you have in your refrigerator. Carrots, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, zucchini, celery, cabbage – the list is endless. You can use this opportunity to sneak in any amount of vegetables into this wholesome soup and the taste gets enhanced with the AMAZING CURRY FLAVOR.

How to cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker

Add 2 cups of water for each cup of chickpeas (measured before soaking). If using a traditional pressure cooker, close the lid and cook on high flame until it reaches high pressure. Reduce the flame to low and cook for 15 minutes or about 10 to 11 whistles. Turn off the flame and wait for the pressure to release naturally.

How to cook chana in an instant pot

Add 2 cups of water for each cup of kala chana (measured before soaking). Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Wait for natural pressure release.

How to make chana soup- step by step

Heat oil in a soup pot, saute onions and ginger-garlic paste for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, vegetables, cooked (or canned) chickpeas, spice blend, turmeric powder and sea salt. Close and boil until vegetables are cooked, for about 10 minutes.

Remove 1 cup of the boiled mixture of chickpeas and vegetables, cool and blend until smooth, using a blender. Add the BLENDED PASTE back to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

closeup view of black chana soup served in a blue soup bowl.

Serving suggestions

Add more PROTEIN to this nutrient-rich chickpea soup by serving it with oven-baked tandoori chicken or baked hariyali chicken legs.

You can also pair the soup with simple fish cakes or lemon garlic prawns if you love seafood.

For vegetarian options, pair the soup with roasted tandoori cauliflower or easy toasted cauliflower coconut rice.

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Health benefits of chana

  • Regulates blood sugar due to the high fiber content.
  • Helps maintain bone health since it’s rich in iron, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K.
  • Supports heart health since it contains potassium, high fiber, Vitamins C and B-6.
  • Supports healthy blood pressure levels due to its potassium content.
  • Selenium regulates liver enzymes and helps in detox.
  • The choline in chickpeas helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
  • Aids digestion and regularity due to its high fiber content.
  • Dietary fibers help in weight management and increase satiety, making people feel full for longer and thereby lowering overall calorie intake.

Are you a chickpea person? You’ll love this creamy pasta with spinach and chickpeas.

Love chickpeas and salads? Try the easy Indian chickpea salad.

More soups you might like

black chana soup served in three blue soup bowls.

Black Chana Soup Recipe (Kala Chana Soup)

Black chana soup is a delicious soup recipe that combines Indian curry flavors with chickpeas. Learn how to make chana soup with an easy homemade soup mix.
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course dinner, Soup
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 bowls
Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients
  

for the spice mix

  • 1 tablespoon split pigeon pea lentils (toor dal)
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1/2 a piece star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes optional
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

for chana soup

  • 1 cup Dried chickpeas/chana (regular or black) (or 2 cups canned) see note 1
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste or grated ginger and garlic, 1/2 teaspoon each
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1/2 cup french beans diced
  • 1 potato diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • sea salt
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

Instructions
 

Soup mix

  • For the spice mix, dry-roast the lentils and spices in a pan on low flame until aromatic. Cool and grind using a spice grinder or coffee grinder.

If using canned chickpeas

  • Rinse and use. (skip to the "chana soup" instructions)

If using dried chickpeas

  • Rinse and soak the brown chickpeas in 3 cups of water for 8 hours. When soaked, the chickpeas will swell up to a little more than double its volume.

Cooking chana in a pressure cooker

  • Drain the chickpeas and add 2 cups of water. Close the lid and cook on high flame until high pressure is reached. Reduce flame to low and cook for 15 minutes or upto 11 whistles. Turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to release naturally.

Cooking chickpeas in an instant pot

  • Drain the chickpeas and place in the instant pot with 2 cups of water. Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Wait for natural pressure release.

Chana soup

  • Heat oil in a deep pot, add the onions and ginger-garlic paste and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, drained chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, beans, turmeric powder, salt and the spice mix with 2 cups water or broth. Close and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Remove 1 cup of the boiled vegetable-chickpea mixture, cool and blend until smooth. Add the blended paste back to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

Notes

  1. In this recipe, I’ve used black chickpeas which are smaller and have a nuttier flavor than the regular beige-colored ones, which may also be used with a slight difference in taste.
  2. Cooking regular (beige) chickpeas: Follow the same instructions, but reduce the cooking time from 15 to 10 minutes. (for both pressure cooker and instant pot.)
  3. This is more of a clear chana soup. If you want a thicker soup, blend more of the boiled veggie-chickpea mixture to add body to the soup.
  4. Time-saving tip: Make the spice mix in a large batch by proportionately multiplying the ingredients and store in an airtight jar. It keeps for a month at room temperature and about 3 months if stored in the refrigerator.
Black Chana Soup (Kala Chana Soup)

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