Winter Recipes: ‘Kala Chana’ or Black Chickpeas Manages Blood Sugar, Weight Loss & More

kala chana soup recipe

With proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, calcium, iron and Vitamin A, kala chana or black chickpeas is a storehouse of health benefits.

It is impossible to think of a breakfast menu in South India without puttu and kadala (steam cake and black chickpeas curry). Even in North India, kala chana, or ‘black chickpeas’ which fall in the family of legumes, are popular for their deliciousness and nutrition factor. 

A research paper by Anil Bukya, Principal of College of Food Technology, Udgir, on ‘Legumes in Indian Agriculture and Health Benefits’, notes, “Legumes are among the best protein sources in the plant kingdom. Legumes are relatively cheap compared to meat. Eating more of those may be an alternative to meat for vegans.”

The study also says that legumes are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, calcium, iron and Vitamin A. Shalini Arvind, a dietitian, said to HealthShots, “Black chana is a delicious and nutritious way to increase the protein in your diet. In fact, it helps to balance the glycemic index for a diabetic patient, so that there’s no quick increase in sugar levels.” 

Kerala's own breakfast -- puttu and kadala.
Kerala’s own breakfast — puttu and kadala.
Photo credits: Entenaad/Instagram

According to the research paper of a set of PhD scholars of Naini Agricultural Institute, Uttar Pradesh, the health benefits of kala chana include:

1. Manages blood sugar levels

Kala chana is ideal for diabetic patients. It increases protein levels and balances the blood sugar level. 

2. Better digestion

“They may help you digest your food because they are high in fibre,” the paper notes.

3. Aids in healthy weight loss

Since the chickpea is rich in protein and other nutrients, regular intake helps to lower body weight. Sprouted black chana has additional benefits and is highly suggested by dieticians.

4. Controls liver diseases

Several studies indicate that daily usage of chana decreases the chance of liver-related ailments and helps the organ to function effectively. 

5. Improves energy levels

Kala chana immediately satiates hunger pangs. Even a small intake of it will keep one energised. 

black chana chickpeas soup recipe
Black chana is a delicious and nutritious way to increase the protein in your diet.
Photo credits: Salmasrecipes/Instagram

So, here’s the kala chana soup recipe to try out at home. This modern take on India’s traditional kala chana can be a complete meal. 

Ingredients (serves two):

  • Kala chana – 2 cups
  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Ginger – one inch
  • Pumpkin puree – 1 cup
  • Baby spinach leaves – 1 cup
  • Roasted cumin powder – a pinch
  • Whole black peppercorns – as required
  • Salt – as required
  • Oregano – a pinch
  • Coriander leaves – for garnish

Preparation:

  • Soak the chana overnight and wash it well.
  • Add four cups of water to a pressure cooker and cook the chana.
  • Chop garlic, ginger, spinach leaves and coriander leaves.
  • Add the chopped veggies to two tablespoons of melted butter in a saucepan. 
  • Add the pumpkin puree to the sauteed vegetables.
  • Add cumin powder, peppercorns and salt.
  • Finally, add the broth of boiled chana and wait until the soup thickens.
  • Add a pinch of oregano and end the process.

Edited by Yoshita Rao; Feature image credits: Shutterstock

Sources:
A hand book on legumes in Indian agriculture and health benefits, a study by Anil Bukya.
Healthy Kala Chana Soup That You Must Add To Your Diet, published by Slurrp on 9 September 2022.
Benefits of kala chana or black chickpeas and how to make soup, published by HealthShots on 22 November 2021.  

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