Bihari Aloo Chana: Potato and Black Chickpea Curry

28 Jul

Bihari Aloo Chana

Aloo chana is an easy-to-cook recipe from Bihar that uses kala chana (black chickpea) – the smaller, thicker-skinned sibling of the chickpea used in channa masala or hummus. Black chickpea has an earthy, dense flavor and high roughage content. This dish is filling, a good source of carbs, protein and iron – besides being really tasty.

You Need:

  • Potatoes – 2 medium
  • Kala chana (black chickpeas), dried – 1 cup
  • Onions – 1 medium
  • Tomatoes – 2 medium
  • Ginger – 4 cloves
  • Ginger – 1/2 inch stick
  • Green chilies – 2
  • Salt – to taste
  • Chana masala – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Mustard oil – 1/2 tablespoon

For garnishing:

  • Finely chopped onions
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Lime wedges

How To Make Bihari Aloo Chana:

1. Prepare the ingredients

Soak the dried black chickpeas in four cups overnight or for 8 hours. Use a large enough pan to contain the swelled chickpeas after soaking.


Kala Chana - Black Chickpeas

Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks (~1-inch cubes).

Potato Cubes, Black Chickpea

Chop the onions finely. Slit the green chilies vertically. Peel and wash the garlic cloves.

Chopped Onions, Green Chilies, Garlic

Crush the ginger stick.

Puree the tomatoes.

Tomatoes, Pureed

2. Cook

Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker.

When the oil is hot, add bay leaf and garlic cloves. Cook till the garlic cloves are golden.

Add slit green chilies, finely chopped onions and crushed ginger. Cook on medium heat till the onions turn a  darker shade (about 6-7 minutes).

Onions Frying

Add the dry spice powders: turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, channa masala. Mix well. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, or till the raw smell of the spices disappears.

Onion and Spices, Cooking

Add tomato puree to the cooking onions and spices, along with salt to taste.

Stir around, continue to cook till the tomato puree takes on a darker color.

Aloo Chana Curry, Cooking

Add potato cubes and kala chana to the pressure-cooker.

Mix well and cook the potatoes and kala chana with the masala for 5 minutes.

Potatoes and Black Chickpeas Pressure Cooker

Add four cups of water and lock the pressure cooker lid. Cook on high heat till the first whistle, then lower the heat and cook for another 15 minutes.

Take the pressure cooker off the heat, let it cool till the lid comes off without force.

Aloo Chana in Pressure Cooker

Bihari aloo chana is ready to eat.

Serve with chopped onions, coriander leaves and lime wedges.

Bihari Aloo Chana - Potato and Black Chickpea Curry


Aloo chana pairs well with plain rice or chapatis.

Here’s another recipe using kala chana that you may like – kala chana with poppy seeds and mint.

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