How To Cook Kala Chana – Ashtami Prasad
Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad, also recognized as sukha Kala chana, is a low-calorie, high-protein dish that appends loads of flavor and is absolutely gluten-free and vegan.
Moreover, this healthy and nutritious recipe calls for just a few of the ingredients that you presumably already possess on hand in your kitchen!
Well, in my case, this Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad with Poori and halwa recipe perpetually hints at my mom’s cooking.
Ashtami prasad was one of those recipes that she would always cook an extra quantity on purpose because she knew that we’d return for second helpings.
Growing up, I would often relish kala chana and would keep pestering her to teach me how to make Kala chana prasad for Ashtami pujan.
But, What Is Kala Chana – Ashtami Prasad?
For those unknown with this term – Kala chana, Kala stands for black, and chana means chickpeas. Collectively, it means Black Chickpeas.
Ashtami – It’s that time of the year when Navratri (festival of nine nights) is coming to an end, and each household is prepping up for Ashtami or Navmi puja.
The 8th day of Navratri is commemorated as Durga Ashtami, which marks the completion of the fasting time for numerous devotees.
On this day, devotees and enthusiasts offer prayers and prasad (a devotional food offering) to Goddess Durga and perform Kanchike or Kanjak.
So, the term – Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad suggests – A religious offering of boiled black chickpeas cooked with minimal spices is offered to God (Mother Durga) on the auspicious eighth day (Ashtami).
What Is Kanjak And How Is The Pujan Done?
Kanjak signifies young girls within the age of birth – 9 years of age before they reach puberty. These girls are worshiped on the occasion of Ashtami.
Kanjak puja is also known as Kanya Pujan or Kanjak Pujan and is commemorate either on Ashtami-the 8th day or Navmi-the 9th day of Navratri.
➤ You Might Like To Read: Sooji Halwa For Ashtami Puja And Navratri
This recipe is pretty simple and cooked without any onions, ginger, garlic, or tomatoes. Still, its amazingly delicious taste will make it hard to resist.
Durga Ashtami is the most auspicious day of the year, and people celebrate it with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Durga Ashtami or Maha Ashtami is considered to be the most favorable day of the year, and people rejoice it with exceptional zeal and enthusiasm.
- People welcome young girls in their house.
- Wash their young feet,
- Apply kumkum on their forehead and
- Tie roli (a red-colored sacred thread) on their little hands.
- Perform the young girl’s aarti, touch their feet, and seek their blessings.
- Then the girls are made to sit in a row, and
- Later they are served Black chickpeas or Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad, Sooji halwa, and puri – a delicious and favorite KANJAK food.
➤ You Might Like To Read: Poori Recipe For Making Soft Puffy Poori
When they are finished eating and prepare to leave the residence, people shower them with gifts in the form of cash or toys.
Each family observes their tradition as some worship Ashtami, and some do puja on Navami.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Ranjeeta Nath Ghai
Ingredients required to make kaka chana – ashtami prasad are easily available in your kitchen pantry and you don’t have to go hunting in the shops!
- 1Kg Black chickpeas काले चने
- 1tsp Salt नमक
- 1tsp Red Chili Powder लाल मिर्ची
- ½ tsp Haldi हल्दी
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds जीरा
- 2 Sprigs Curry Leaves करि पत्ता
- ½ tsp Hing हींग
- 3 tsp Coriander Powder धनिया पाउडर
- 3 tsp Desi Ghee देसी घी / Olive Oil जैतून का तेल
Black chickpeas also known as Kala chana/chole. This is the star ingredient and is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Nutritionally speaking, Kala chana contains no cholesterol, is low in fat, high in protein, and a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Asafoetida/Hing हींग
- Black Mustard Seeds सरसों
- Curry Leaves करि पत्ता
The prep-up and cooking method to cook Kala chana -Ashtami prasad is simple.
- Wash the Kale chole/ black chickpeas thoroughly under tap water.
- Transfer the Kala chana to a big bowl and soak them in 3 cups of water for 6 hours or soak it overnight. This will guarantee that it cooks fast, evenly and use less fuel.
- As mentioned above, I suggest soaking the black chana overnight or a minimum of 4 hours in lukewarm water. By the morning, the black chana will swell and double in size.
- Drain the water and wash the chickpeas/Kala chana once again under tap water.
- Add salt, red chilli powder, Haldi, and hing to the Kala chana.
- Transfer the kale chole to the cooker and add enough water to cover the chana. The chickpeas should be underwater. Set it to boil at medium flame. Close after 4 whistles.
- When the steam is released, carefully open the Instant Pot lid, and the Kala chana will be all done – soft and tender.
- In the wok/kadhai add ghee/olive oil.
- Put cumin seeds and when it starts sputtering and start to crackle add curry leaves.
- Carefully add the boiled chana and cook for a minute, and add all the spices one by one.
- Cook till the water dries out.
- Serve hot with poori and sooji halwa.
Why should you Soak The Beans?
I always soak all my beans/legumes because they contain phytic acid, and foods containing phytic acid are harder to digest.
Soaking also decreases flatulence and provides more nutrients.
In addition to that, we cut down the phytic acid and make the bean more digestible by soaking. It also reduces the cooking time in half.
Recipe tips and variations!
Since this prasad is consumed mostly by juvenile girls, I favor leaving out the green chilies. If you like it hot n spicy, feel free to mount the spices to your liking.
Appending a spoon of amchur (mango powder) will append a zing and tanginess to this chana recipe.
You can alternatively cook Kala chana in an instant pot cooker too. All the details are discussed below.
Health advantages– Drain the cooked chickpeas and collect the extra water for later use. You can consume this water as it is crammed with nutrients and is very advantageous for health.
alternative ways to enjoy kale chole/ black chickpeas!
If not utilizing it as a prasad, then add some chopped onions, green chilies, chopped cilantro, chaat masala, and some sev and munch it as an evening snack with your tea or chakhna with drinks.
We relished this as children, and now my kids do the same with leftover Ashtami prasad.
Enjoy Sookie kale chane as is, or pair it with Sooji ka halwa and Poori to make a lip-smacking Ashtami meal!
later on after the fast is finished you can saute onions and garlic, add tomato puree and add the ashtami kale chana and serve with chapati.