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. For a change, I sometimes serve it with thepla and I tried out Swaty’s Bajra Methi Poori to serve with this shaak. The puris we paired well with chana nu shaak.  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.

What is the group Foodies _Redoing Old Posts all about?

Chickpea Curry or Chana nu shaak as I know it is prepared often as my family loves it.  While the recipe remains the same, I’ve updated the writing and photos.

Contributing this recipe to the Group called Foodies_Redoing Old Posts which is Renu’s baby. This group encourages food bloggers to visit their old forgotten posts and breathe a new life into them either by changing the photos, the write up or both. However, the recipes remain the same. If you are a food blogger and need a push to revive your lost posts then this group is just the right one for you.

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

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962




  • Heidi Roberts

    February 10, 2020 at 1:12 am

    Thanks for this. I never know what to do with chick peas!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 10, 2020 at 3:03 pm

      Thanks Heidi, now you know how to use them besides adding them to salads.

  • shobhakeshwani

    February 10, 2020 at 6:44 am

    This platter looks too good, specially the puffed up puris. It has been a long time since I made them. These pics are tempting me to fry them and relish.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 10, 2020 at 3:03 pm

      Thank you so much Shobha, I made puris after a long time, make it when I have guests at home.

  • MJ

    February 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Chana nu shaak is a favourite of ours and like you we tend to have this curry with puris. I have not used kokum for chana before so learnt something new from you. I like the idea of reposting old recipes with new pictures.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 17, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you so much Mina, my mum use to add a bit of lemon juice but my MIL taught me to add kokum.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    February 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    We generally make a dry version of this chickpea or I follow the Maharashtrian recipe. I am loving this recipe with a bit of gram flour, kokum and some potatoes with it. It would go so well with the puris. And yes those puris look yum too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 17, 2020 at 10:51 pm

      Thank you so much Renu, it is generally served with plain puris and Tuvar dal.

  • jayashreetrao

    February 15, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Thw chick pea curry and the puri looks delicious. I had this during my Gujarat trip and it was tasty.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 17, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

  • poonampagar

    February 19, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Black chickpea curry in thick gram flour gravy with kokum sounds new to me. I am sure this mildly sweet tangy and spicy curry must have tasted yumm with those puffed pooris.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 19, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam, we love this chickpea curry and yes its a balance of little sweetness with tanginess and a bit spicy.

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