The term “kala chana” might sound like a stranger to most of us, but when we dig through its English translation, it turns out to be a familiar thing!
So kala chana when translated into English is “black chickpeas!” Chickpeas are legumes that have protein-rich seeds, and an important ingredient to Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine.
In fact, India itself produces 64% of the world’s total chickpea productions! On the other hand, some of the familiar Middle Eastern dishes that contain chickpeas are falafels and hummus. Now we are going to explore more about kala chana, and of course the health benefits of kala chana.
Nutritional Facts of Kala Chana
- Serving Size – 100 g
- Water – 7.68 g
- Calories – 378kcal
- Total Fat – 6.04 g (9% of DV)
- Saturated Fat – 0.6 g (3% of DV)
- Polyunsaturated Fat – 2.7 g
- Monounsaturated Fat – 1.4 g
- Sodium – 24 mg (1% of DV)
- Total Carbohydrates – 62.95 g (20% of DV)
- Benefits Sugar Health – 11 g
- Dietary Fibre – 17g (68% of DV)
- Protein – 20.47 g (38% of DV)
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Vitamin A – 67 IU (1% of DV)
- Vitamin B6 – 0.535 mg (25% of DV)
- Vitamin C – 4 mg (6% of DV)
- Source of Vitamin D Foods– 0 mg (0% of DV)
- Health Benefits of Vitamin E – 0.82 mg
- Vitamin K – 6.6 mcg (8% of DV)
- Calcium – 57 mg (10% of DV)
- Copper – 0.535 mg (27% of DV)
- Cobalamin – 0 mg (0% of DV)
- Folate – 282 mcg (71% of DV)
- Iron – 4.31 mg (34% of DV)
- Magnesium – 79 mg (30% of DV)
- Niacin – 1.541 mg
- Potassium – 718 mg (14% of DV)
- Phosphorus – 252 mg (25% of DV)
- Riboflavin – 0.212 mg (6% of DV)
- Thiamine – 0.477 mg (13% of DV)
- Zinc – 2.76 mg (17% of DV)
All the information above are in relation to a 2,000-calorie diet. The percentage of daily value (% of DV) may differ depending on personal calorie needs.
What are its Health Benefits?
- Kala Chana Aids Weight Loss
Kala chana aids weight loss none other because of its dietary health benefits fruit fibre cereal content that it possesses at 17 g, or equivalent to 68% of the recommended daily value.
2. Kala Chana’s Cardiovascular Benefits
Next, kala chana works for cardiovascular purposes by having antioxidants and some other compounds that maintain the health of blood vessels and keeping them away from oxidative stress for a minimized cardiac arrest likelihood.
3. Kala Chana Lowers Cholesterol
The soluble fibres inside kala chana binds the bile acids and prevent them from being absorbed by the body, thus reducing cholesterol.
4. Kala Chana Manages Blood Glucose and so is Glycemic Index (GI)
Again, the same soluble fibres also manages blood glucose. In addition, kala chana also has low GI levels ranging 28 to 32. Low GI indicates that carbohydrate is broken down and digested very slowly.
5. Kala Chana Prevents Diabetes
The same carbohydrates as the point above, when digested slowly also prevents diabetes because it contributes to insulin resistance.
6. Kala Chana’s Iron Contents
Kala chana contains 4.31 mcg of iron, which is equals to 34% of the recommended daily value! Iron contributes to the formation of red blood cells and of course reducing the possibilities of anemia too.
7. Kala Chana is also Protein for Vegetarians
Kala chana as a protein is deemed safe for vegetarians because they are naturally combined with whole grain or whole wheat protein, comparable enough to that of animal meat.
8. Kala Chana is Healthy for Women
The antioxidants inside kala chana is indeed healthy for women due to the fact that it reduces the risk of women-associated diseases, such as breast cancer, and hot flushes in post-menopausal women.
9. Kala Chana Treats Digestive Disorders Good
The fibres of kala chana also treats digestive disorders really good, such as dysentery and also constipation. It is possible because they reduce the strain inside the intestines.
10. Kala Chana Shields Against Cancer
Finally, the same soluble fibres inside kala chana can also act as shields against cancer, symptoms of colon cancer in particular. This happens because the fibres are broken down by the bacteria into short chain fatty acids, absorbed again by the colon cells in return of energy supply.
Cautions & Recommendations
Kala chana’s fibre content can act as a boomerang despite its fibre benefits. When fibre amount is increased drastically into the diet, one may experience side effects such as bloating, gas, cramps, up to diarrhea. To prevent this, gradually increase the intake of chickpeas as time goes by, and drink plenty of water in order to smoothen the digestion process.
How to Cook Kala Chana Masala (Kala Chana Curry)
- 1 cup of kala chana (black chickpeas)
- 2.5 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of ghee or cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon of cumin (jeera)
- 1 medium sized finely chopped onions
- 2 medium or 1 large sized finely chopped tomatoes
- 4 to 5 cloves of finely chopped garlic
- 1 to 2 finely chopped green chili
- ½ teaspoon of red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 pinch of asafoetida
- ½ or 1 cup of water for gravy
- Salt as needed
- ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon of coriander
- First, rinse the chickpeas in water several times.
- Then, soak it in 2.5 cups of water overnight or for around 8 to 9 hours.
- In a separate pressure cooker, add 2 tablespoons of ghee or cooking oil.
- Insert cumin and let them crackle.
- Afterwards, add the onions. Sautee them until they become light golden.
- Add garlic and green chili. Sautee them for 10 to 12 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and sautee them until oil is released from the mixture.
- Insert the turmeric, asafoetida, and red chili powder into the mixture. Sautee for 2 to 3 seconds.
- Include the soaked chickpeas and the water inside the mixture. Season with salt and stir it well. Additional water could be included based on preference.
- Pressure cook them on medium to high flame until the chickpeas soften, indicating that it is well cooked.
- Finally sprinkle garam masala into the kala chana masala, and also coriander leaves for garnishing.
- Kala chana masala is now ready to be served!