Kala Chana Hummus: Nutrient-Dense Dip With A Desi Twist
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Kala chana is a pulse variety that’s mostly cultivated in parts of the Indian sub-continent, is a smaller version of the commonly found chickpea. Nutty in flavour, with a brown outer skin, the kala chana develops a starchy texture when cooked, and plays a very important role in Indian home cooking. Often seen made during the festive seasons into a tempered salad called sundal, in the South or into sabzis and curries, in the northern parts of the country, the kala chana is incredibly versatile and inexpensive.

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It is also more nutrient-dense and protein packed in comparison to the white chickpeas or garbanzo beans. The pulse can also be eaten raw, once sprouted as well as be used in pulaos, amti or chaat dishes. It is an incredible source of vitamins like B6, niacin, minerals like iron, copper and manganese. Using the dried variety of this chickpeas is preferred through the year except for when it is available green and fresh during peak season. It is also said in Ayurveda that kala chana balances all three doshas (deficiencies) in the body – vata (gas), pitta (digestive acid) and kapha (breathing). This desi version of hummus, made with this kala chana, also comes with a special tadka which amplifies the nutty flavour and creamy texture.



  • 1 cup kala chana
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, whole
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and soak the kala chana for 6-8 hours and pressure cook on a medium-low flame for about 5-6 whistles, until it turns mushy when pressed between your fingers. Allow it to cool and set aside.
  • Add the cooled, cooked chana to a blender jar along with the sesame seeds, whole garlic, lemon juice, ice cubes and olive oil. Blitz everything until the mixture is a creamy, fluffy consistency. Using a spatula, empty the contents into a bowl. Pour a thin layer of oil to prevent the hummus from drying out.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a small pan and add the sliced garlic while the oil is still cold. As it begins to sizzle and turn aromatic, add the chopped green chilli followed by the cumin, chilli powder and chilli flakes.
  • Once the contents of the tempering begin to pop, spoon it over the waiting bowl of hummus and sprinkle plenty of fresh coriander on top. Serve with chips, crackers, lavash or bread of your choice.