Kondai Kadalai Kuzhambu/ Kala Chana Gravy/ Black Chickpeas Gravy

The flavors and taste of a non-vegetarian gravy is married with Kondai Kadalai/ Black Chickpeas to result in a healthy yet finger licking colorful addition to any meal. 

Affably,  I prepare my mutton gravy in the authentic South Indian method as mentioned in this recipe. This Gravy is spicy and aromatic with its distinctive spices.  Always go for the freshly grinded masala for a delicious gravy. Furthermore, this Kondai Kadalai Kuzhambu is a great combination with rice, idli, dosa, roti, idiyappam or appam.

Kondai Kadalai/ Kala Chana/ Black Chickpeas is dark brown and smaller in size than the yellow chickpeas. It is a good source of protein, fiber and iron which helps improve blood sugar and lower cholesterol, decreasing risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetics and heart attacks. Think about different ways to add the soaked and cooked black chickpeas to your everyday meal as it can stand on its own. It would be great when sprinkled in salads or soups, snack as sundal  or simply make the mediterranean dark hummus at home. 

Slow Cooker Method:

Have a slow cooker, it's an excellent choice as the extended cooking time allows better distribution of flavors in many recipes. It's convenient for a busy day whether you work in or out of your home. Prep your meal the day before and allow it to cook overnight or right before going to work and come home to a meal.

Bear in mind this method does not require pre-soaking the chana or chickpeas. All you have to do is rinse the chickpeas and add it to the section B freshly grinded masala. The section A and C goes in the slow cooker raw eliminating the oil completely. You will be amazed how simple it is to cook a healthy and delicious dish. However, I have given the pressure cooker method below. Try and keep me posted as which method you tired and how did you like this Kondai Kadalai Kuzhambu the South Indian way :)


Category: Gravy
Cuisine: South Indian
Level: Medium
Yields: 4-6 servings

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 101
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g6 %
Saturated Fat 0 g2 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 309 mg13 %
Potassium 66 mg2 %
Total Carbohydrate 15g5 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g15 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 4 g9 %
Vitamin A8 %
Vitamin C22 %
Calcium1 %
Iron2 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Section A: 

1. Kondai Kadalai/ Kala Chana/ Black Chickpeas - 1 cup (soaked overnight or 6-8 hrs)

2. Water- 3 cups 

3. Turmeric Powder -1/4 teaspoon 

Section B: (masala)
1. Oil (sesame or coconut) - 1 tablespoon
2. Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
3. Cloves - 5-6 nos
4. Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
5. Black stone flower/ Kalpasi - 1 teaspoon (optional)
6. Cardamom - 2 nos
7. Ginger - 1 inch
8. Garlic - 4 cloves
9. Pearl onions - 20 nos (peeled)*
10. Tomato - 2 nos (medium) - chopped
11. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon 
12. Coriander/ Dhania powder - 1.5 tablespoons
13. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Section C:
1. Oil (sesame or coconut)  - 1 teaspoon
2. Bay leaves - 2 nos
3. Shallots or Red onions - 1/2 cup (julienned or cubed)
4. Green chilly - 2 nos (slit in half lengthwise) - optional
5. Masala - from section B 
6. Salt to taste (used himalayan pink rock salt)
7. Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
8. Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Section A: 

1. Start with soaked Kondai kadalai/ black chickpeas in  pressure cooker  with 3 cups of water and turmeric powder. Allow minimum 3-4 whistles.

Section B:

1. In a medium sized pan on medium heat, drizzle the oil and add all the whole spices cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, black stone flower and cardamom. Leave it for a minute or two for the flavors to infuse in the oil. 

2. Add quick rough chopped ginger and garlic. To this goes the pearl onions, allowing it to turn translucent with occasional stirring. 

3. In goes the chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder and curry leaves. Saute for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes wilt. 

4. Remove from heat and cool to grind to make a smooth paste.

Section C:

1. In the same medium pan on medium heat, drizzle oil and add the bay leaves and julienned/ chopped shallots or red onions and cook until it turns golden brown.

2. Now drop in the green chillies, sprinkle salt freshly grinded masala from section B and allow it to cook until the raw masala smell vanishes in about 6-7 minutes. 

3. In a small cup mix chilli powder with a tablespoon of water and add to the above for rich red colored gravy. * 

4. Remove from heat and transfer it to the pressure cooker with the cooked Black chickpea from Section A. Pressure cook until it makes 1 whistle. Remove and garnish with a sprig of fresh curry leaves and serve hot with your favorite side. 


Pearl onions play a vital role as it contributes much to taste. Whenever lethargic to peel the outer skin blanch them and it's relatively easy to peel. 

Green chillies are optional, its add more flavor to the already spiced dish. 

Red chilly powder can directly be added to the masala if you are not particular about the red colored gravy.


  1. This is a interesting version rather than doing regular channa masala, we can eat this for chappathi as well as for Rice I guess. Great addition to the blog!!! I will try on sattvik version and let you know how it turned out! Thanks again!

    1. Most assuredly it goes well with roti/ chappathi and rice. Please keep me posted as how you liked it :)


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