Welcome to the world of tangy, yum and nutritious chaats with this Kala Chana Chaat (Black Chana Chaat.) This recipe is supremely easy to make. Just prep up the ingredients and mix everything together in a bowl. A close cousin of the green chickpeas chaat, this snack made with black chickpeas is also a popular street food in many parts of India, including the famous Juhu Beach in Mumbai.
Chaats are those variety of savory snacks that are quite synonymous with India as a popular food served on street side carts or stalls. The word ‘chaat’ originates from the Hindi words ‘chat’ (to taste) and ‘chatna’ (to lick your fingers).
There is a plethora of chaats available across India, each city having its own variation. You will be spoiled for the choices the vast Indian cuisine offers you and will keep on asking for more.
My trip to the beach in Mumbai is never complete without this Kala Chana Chaat. Other chaat snacks that I absolutely enjoy while watching the sun getting disappeared at the horizon are the popular Pani Puri, Bhel Puri, Sev Puri and Pav Bhaji.
Some people may say that salads are boring! So, why not have a chaat instead? It is creative, flavor-laden, tasty, gets done quickly and so much more. Just like this Kala Chana Chaat recipe which is spicy and tangy, all-together.
About Kala Chana Chaat
This Black Chana Chaat is a storehouse of tastes and textures, which bursts in your mouth and you can’t just stop at one, two or three bites!
Besides the cooked chickpeas, everything is raw. So, this easily fits into the raw food category too. And of course, a 200% vegan! You can amp-up the flavor/feel quotient by adding some grated carrot, shredded cabbage, grated beets, grated/chopped cucumber or boiled potatoes.
The chilies in this Black Chana Chaat can also be adjusted according to the level of heat you want. While serving to kids or folks who are intolerant to spicy food, skip the green chillies altogether.
If you have some leftover cooked chickpeas, the chaat comes together in no time. You can also use canned white chickpeas. Just remember to drain the liquid from the can/tin and rinse the chickpeas. For a warm chickpea salad, slightly warm the chickpeas in a pan.
The recipe is very versatile and can be made with various legumes. Think of black eyed beans, moong beans sprouts, kidney beans, dried green peas or white peas. You could also swap black chickpeas with green chickpeas or white chickpeas.
Only ensure that the beans or chickpeas are cooked until tender but not mushy. Any chaat snack made with beans or chickpeas will be a good source of proteins for vegetarians.
Serve Kala Chana Chaat warm or cold, completely your call. Makes for a wholesome starter, a healthy tiffin food or evening snack with tea. Tastes great with toasted bread too.
Why eat Kala Chana Chaat
As you can already read in this recipe, the ingredients are really nutrient-rich. This is the reason this snack is also one of the healthiest street foods we have.
Here are some of the reasons for which you must include this chaat in your diet:
- Vegan and gluten free
- No oil, fats and sugar
- High in proteins
- Low in carbohydrates
- Excellent source of vitamins, minerals, iron and fibre
- Heart healthy
- Boosts energy levels and keeps you full
- Can be easily customized to your taste preferences
- Does not need much cooking expertise except for cooking the chickpeas
Pack it in your tiffin boxes or have it as a meal by itself, it is going to keep you full for hours, and is awesome in each and every way.
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Kala Chana Chaat
- 1 cup dried black chickpeas (kala chana) or 2.5 to 3 cup cooked black chickpeas
- 1 medium onion – finely chopped
- 1 large tomato – finely chopped
- 1 green mango – small-sized and unripe, peeled and finely chopped (optional) – the one I added was a little ripe
- 1 to 2 green chilies – finely chopped or minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur powder)
- 2 to 3 teaspoon lemon juice or add as required
- ½ teaspoon black salt or regular salt – add more if required
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves – for garnish
Cooking black chickpeas
- Rinse a few times in fresh water and then soak the dried black chickpeas overnight or for 8 to 9 hours in enough water.
- Later drain the water and rinse the chickpeas again a few times. Drain all the water.
- In a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker, add the soaked chickpeas with enough water covering 1 to 1.5 inches above the chickpeas.
- Pressure cook for 6 to 7 minutes or till the chickpeas are cooked tender.
- Once the pressure settles down naturally, then only open the lid of the cooker. Check the doneness and if the chickpeas look undercooked then again pressure cook for some more minutes. Add water if needed while pressure cooking again.
- Once cooked till softened, drain all the water from cooked chickpeas using a strainer or colander. Set the cooked black chickpeas aside.
Making kala chana chaat
- Rinse and then finely chop the onions, tomatoes, green chillies, mango and coriander leaves. If you prefer, you can peel the unripe mango.
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients including the cooked black chickpeas.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Taste and if required, add more of the ground spice powders, lemon juice and salt.
- Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Serve Kala Chana Chaat warm.
- You can also refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours and serve it cold.
- Before serving, garnish with some coriander leaves and lemon wedges.
- The spice powders, black salt, green chilies and lemon juice can be adjusted as per your taste preferences.
- You can also make the same recipe with cooked white or green chickpeas. The chaat tastes great with steamed sprouted moong beans too. You could also use cooked kidney beans and black eyed beans.
- If you can get canned cooked chickpeas, then the chaat gets done in 5 minutes flat. Excellent even with some toasted bread.
- You can also add some grated carrot, grated beets or grated/chopped cucumber or boiled potatoes to make it more wholesome.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Kala Chana Chaat post from the blog archives first published in July 2012 has been republished and updated on 16 April 2022.