Black Channa Salad

Black Channa Salad

Often called kala channa, black chickpeas are the smaller, darker, and more intensely flavored cousins of the larger tan ones. They are firmer in texture and not as easy to puree as tan chickpeas. However, they make a great addition to a soup, salad, pilaf, or stir-fry and are high in fiber, protein, and iron. If you can’t find these at your local Indian grocer, you can find them online. The California heirloom bean company Rancho Gordo grows a variety they call desi channa. I would suggest doubling the recipe and keeping half the chickpeas aside to create your own chaat combinations. 

Share this recipe
Cook Time

2 hours and 50 minutes



Step 1
Put the beans in a medium bowl and cover with cold tap water by 6 to 8 inches. Soak the mixture overnight.
Step 2
The next day, discard the soaking water and put the beans in a medium saucepan. Add 4 cups fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour out the first water to remove the foam and impurities—if necessary, use a large strainer or colander.
Step 3
Add 4 cups more water, bring to a simmer, then decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, adding more water if needed, until the beans are tender or squishy when you press into them. There should always be enough water to submerge the beans. Turn the heat off and let the beans rest in the liquid for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain.
Step 4
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat and pop the cumin seeds. Immediately add the asafetida, followed by the chickpeas, black pepper, and black salt. Continue cooking until the masala evenly coats the beans. Take the pan off the heat, then stir in the amchur. Let the beans cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 5
Toss with or serve alongside the cucumber, mango, and cilantro and finish with a drizzle of lemon juice.

1 cup dry black channa

3 tablespoons olive oil 

1 teaspoon cumin seeds 

Pinch of asafetida (optional) 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon black salt 

2 tablespoons amchur (dried mango powder) 

4 to 5 Persian cucumbers, cubed 

1 large mango, cubed 

1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems chopped (bottom 3 inches of stems discarded) 

Juice of 1 lemon 



Here are some more options for ya, make it a bean salad week!