Chana Usli: Richness of Proteins Mixed with Konkani Spices
Image Credit: YouTube @Ooru Oota Upahara - English

The usual preparation of Indian Black Chana or White Chana is a hefty mix of spices comprising onions and tomatoes. However, there is always a variation that comes in the cooking style as one moves across the different states of India. Likewise, along the coastal lines of India and the southern states have a mild taste but distinguish preparation of chana. Among many such preparations, the one that will win hearts and be an instant hit is the Chana Usli. Keeping the main ingredient of curry leaves and green chillies at its base, this Chana Usli only gives the tinge of green chillies and balances it with salt and sugar.

From the middle-eastern countries to the land of India

A much-loved pulse that has become an integral part of the Indian food plate is a giving of the Middle East. According to archeological findings, roughly 7,500 years old remains of chickpeas have been found from the Middle East in the aceramic levels of Jericho and Çayönü, Turkey. These findings, therefore, imply that humans had been cultivating chickpeas even before pottery came into existence. There is also some early evidence recorded from about 3500 BCE in Turkey and 6790 BCE in France of the production of chickpeas.

In India, chickpeas are referred to as Kabuli Chana. Owing to its name it is believed that the chickpea came to India from Kabul, Afghanistan, upon being introduced to India in the 18th century. However, there are various other findings indicating that chickpeas arrived in India around 3000 BC.


  1. 1 cup Black Chana
  2. 1 cup White Chana
  3. 6 Green Chillies
  4. 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  5. 1 tsp Chana Dal
  6. ½ tsp Urad Dal
  7. ¼ tsp Hing
  8. 50 gms grated Coconut
  9. 1 tbsp Sugar
  10. A few Curry Leaves
  11. Oil
  12. Salt


  1. Soak the Chana overnight. Transfer to a pressure cooker, add salt and cook them separately for about four-five whistles in the morning.
  2. Meanwhile, slightly grind three green chillies and keep them aside.
  3. Now separate chana from the water and keep it aside.
  4. Over medium heat place a pan and pour oil. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, and curry leaves. Fry these ingredients until they splutter and then add the green chillies. Let the chillies fry in the oil for a few minutes.
  5. Then add salt, hing, and the boiled black chana. Give this all a good mix, cover, and let it simmer for about six to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the cover, add grated coconut, sugar and give it all a good mix. Cover once more and let it simmer on medium heat for about five minutes. Serve!

Serve it as a snack in the evening or as a breakfast bowl, this simple recipe of Black or White Chana will have more buyers.  Especially for children, this dish will score a good A+ for the simplicity and textures that this recipe has to offer. Make some innovative changes to suit the taste buds, but its simplicity makes it the best.