Kala Chana Usal – A Great picnic snack


Posted by Roth McCoy | Posted in healthy recipes, Vegetarian Food Ideas, World Recipes | Posted on 15-01-2013

Indian Picnic Food Ideas : Kala chana” – black chickpeas

Kala chana usal is a famous Maharashtrian snack. “Kala chana” are black chickpeas.

This can be the best picnic recipe. Much like a stir fry, in Maharashtra it is served for breakfast and also as a snack during evening tea.

Mostly, people in Maharashtra prepare this dish during fasting days. Here, the dish is cooked with lots of sesame seeds and has a unique taste that makes it loved by everyone. It’s best served with dry coconut and some chopped cilantro, and sometimes also with Indian puffed fried bread that is known as puri. If you’re taking this recipe for a picnic, you can also take some puris along with this dish.

Indian Picnic Food ideas : Kala Chana Recipe


Preparation time: 4 hours for soaking + 20 minutes

Cooking time : 25 minutes

Serves: 2 people




  • 1 cup black chickpeas
  • 2 green chilis
  • 1 inch ginger
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • a pinch of asafetida
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (for garnish)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

Kala Chana Spices

Making process

  • Soak the black chickpeas in water for 6 hours. The best time for soaking is  overnight.
  • Next morning, boil the soaked chickpeas along with 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker until they are soft.
  • Add a little salt while boiling the peas.
  • Meanwhile, chop the ginger and green chilis.
  • Also finely chop the cilantro, where will be used during serving.
  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • When the oil heats up, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let it sizzle for some time.
  • Add asafetida, curry leaves and turmeric powder. Fry everything for 1 minute.
  • Add white sesame seeds and fry for 30 seconds, until the sesame seeds lightly change color.
  • Add chopped ginger and chopped green chillies. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Add boiled chickpeas and stir well.
  • Mix in red chili powder and cumin powder. Mix well and cook till water fully evaporates and becomes dry.
  • Adjust the spiciness by adding more red chili powder and add any extra salt.
  • Stir regularly, so the chana usal does not stick to the bottom. (If you want to evaporate the water quckly, turn the flame to high and keep an eye on it to avoid sticking.)
  • Once the water is fully evaporated, turn off the flame and add chopped cilantro.
  • For optional extra taste, coconut powder is recommended. If you’re using it, add when water completely evaporates from the usal.
  • Your kala chana is ready to serve.


Making Kala Chana


  • Kala chana usal is, as said, the best picnic recipe. It is dry and easy to carry.
  • The same recipe can be prepared with other types of peas, like white chickpeas, green peas, yellow peas, etc.
  • The sesame seeds are the key ingredients in this recipe, so add as directed in the recipe.
  • If you don’t like coconut powder, just leave it out.
  • Some people like to add onion, but I don’t add it. This is left to one’s preference.
  • Serve kala chana usal when it is hot – but even cold, it tastes great.

Kala Chana





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