Chickpea Curry/ Chana nu Shaak)

July 28, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Get Your Protein

Chana, bengal gram, Egyptian beans, garbanzo beans, chickpeas,whatever you know them as are very healthy. Nunu always says  ‘eat chana and become strong like a horse’. Red, brown or black chickpeas are suppose to be a dieter’s delight. Half a cup of these chickpeas contains nearly 6g of protein and 5g of fiber. Half a cup of boiled chickpeas is only around 140 calories.

Benefits of Including Black Chana or Chickpeas in your diet

  • Besides being a good source of protein, black chickpeas (though they appear more red or brown) are rich in dietary fiber which is good for the digestive system.
  • Low in glycemic index, its beneficial for diabetics.
  • It has a unique combinations of antioxidants which has cardiovascular benefits.
  • The soluble fiber has the ability to bind with bile acids, preventing it from being absorbed by the body, thus reducing cholesterol.
  • Its a good source of iron.

How to include them in your diet

I try to include these beans as often as I can in my daily diet. Add  them to salads like the Indian Beans Salad. Try the super delicious Ghugni and serve it with some Duska. Make a flavorsome Kerala Kadala Curry, a tomato and coconut based curry. Vegetarian Kebabs made with black chickpeas are not only healthy but really delectable. I love the serve the kebabs rolled into a paratha. This makes my Veg Kebab Parathas not only filling but nutritious too. I also like to boil them in salted water and keep them in the fridge for times when I need a quick but healthy snack. A drizzle of lemon juice, a dash of pepper or red chilli powder and boiled chickpeas is such a satisfying snack. Boiled chana or chickpeas stays in the fridge for several days without spoiling. You can also freeze them in an airtight container. To serve as a lip smacking street food, make Mombasa Mix.

Chickpea Curry or Chana Nu Shaak

Whenever chickpeas or chana are used for a Gujarati dish, its usually the black ones as opposed to the big white Kabuli Chana or chickpeas. Chickpea curry or chana nu shaak is usually made in a thick chickpea flour (besan) and tomato gravy without any onion or garlic. This chickpea curry is usually served with Tuvar Dal, rotli, or puri, a green vegetable side dish and rice. I can finish a whole bowlful of this curry without any flatbread or rice, that’s how much I love it. Chana nu shaak should have a balance of sweetness and sourness. For the sweetness I use jaggery and for the sourness I use either kokum (garcinia indica) or tamarind pulp. Its common to find this chana nu shaak during a Jaman. Jaman is a big lavish dinner or lunch.

Dietary Tips:

  • Its gluten free if you avoid asafetida
  • Its a vegan dish
  • Its satvik friendly    

Adding boiled potato to it is totally optional. I sometime make it without the potatoes.

chana nu shaak 1

chana nu shaak 2

chana nu shaak 3

chana nu shaak 4

Serves 2-3

1 cup boiled red or brown chickpeas

1-2 medium boiled potatoes, cut into cubes

½ cup water

2 tbsp chickpea flour (besan, chana flour)

1 tsp ginger paste

½ – 1 tsp green chilli paste

½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)

¼ – ½ tsp red chilli powder

1 + ¼ tsp salt

1 tsp coriander cumin powder (dhana jiru)

1 tsp jaggery powder or brown sugar

½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain, ajmo)

1 inch cinnamon

4-6 cloves

6-8 peppercorns

pinch of asafetida

1-2 kokum (garcinia indica)

2 tbsp oil

½ cup fresh tomato puree

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

  1. If you are not using tinned chickpeas then you need to soak them in warm water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain out the water, wash and boil in a pressure cooker using fresh water and 1 tsp salt. Let it cook for 3 whistles. The water level should be just above the chana.
  3. Drain the water out into another vessel.
  4. Save the water for soup.
  5. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  6. When it is hot, add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and kokum.
  7. Add mustard, cumin and carom seeds. reduce the heat to low.
  8. When the seeds begin to splutter, add the chickpea flour.
  9. Stir all the time and let it cook till it becomes light pink in colour.
  10. Add ginger, chilli paste, asafoetida, coriander cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and stir fry for a few seconds.
  11. Add tomato puree, jaggery, remaining salt and the chickpeas. Add ½ cup water.
  12. Stir well, cover the pan and let it simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  13. The gravy should have become thick.
  14. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with hot chappatis or parathas or rice.


  • Add 1 tsp of tamarind paste instead of kokum.
  • You can prepare this curry without the potato.
  • Adjust the flavourings according to your taste.
  • To make dhana jiru take 1 part roasted coriander seeds and ¼ part roasted cumin seeds. Process to a fine powder.
  • If the gravy becomes too thick, add a bit of water.

Pin for later:

chana nu shaak

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

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