Health

Benefits of kala chana or black chickpeas and how to make soup

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Got leftover water after boiling kala chana or black chickpeas? Give it a healthy twist with this easy-to-make kala chana soup recipe!

You must have heard of the importance of consuming soaked or boiled chana regularly in the morning. If you are unaware, let us tell you that kala chana or black chickpea is a powerhouse of protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fat. Since it is an extremely versatile legume, it is widely used in a variety of dishes like falafel, hummus, curries, salads, stews, or even as a quick snack. But did you know it can also be used to prepare soup?

Shalini Arvind, Chief Dietitian at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, tells HealthShots, “Black chana is a very tasty and nutritious way to increase the protein in your diet. In fact, it helps to balance the glycemic index for a diabetic patient, so that there’s no quick increase in sugar levels.” 

chana
Eat chana to protect your bones! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

They are healthy, but consuming it in boiled form or the same old sabzi or curry form would be boring, right? We can hear a big YES! So today, we bring to you the recipe of kala chana soup. The best part of the recipe? This soup is soothing, nourishing, comforting and delicious too! 

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup black chana 
  • 1 medium onion cut into four pieces
  • Cumin seeds
  • 5 garlic pods, chopped 
  • 1-inch ginger, chopped
  • Black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves
Recipe:
  • Soak black chickpea overnight.
  • In the morning, drain the water and rinse it properly.
  • Take a pressure cooker, add the chickpeas to it along with four cups of water, and a little salt. 
  • Cover the lid and allow it to pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. 
  • Once the chickpea is cooked, transfer them into a bowl. 
  • In the meantime, add ghee to a pan, add cumin seeds and chopped garlic and ginger. Saute it well.
  • Now, when the colour changes, add boiled chana. Cook it for another five minutes.
  • Add salt and black pepper.
  • Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves. And your soup is ready!

Did you know? Black chickpea can be added to your daily diet to control diabetes and blood sugar levels naturally. Not just that, they offer numerous health benefits. 

Dr Divya Dhawan, Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Apollo Speciality Hospitals, Nehru Enclave, New Delhi, tells HealthShots the benefits of chana:
1. Helps lower cholesterol levels

Did you know that kala chana is packed with fibre and has a low glycemic index. They decrease LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. So, do not forget to include them as part of your diet. But avoid going overboard too.

chana
Add chana to your diet to keep your cholesterol levels in control. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Helps in the management of type 2 diabetes

Kala chana contains carbohydrates that can be digested slowly. This reduces the blood sugar levels, thereby lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

3. Helps tackle anaemia

You will be surprised to know that kala chana can prevent anaemia, and energize you. It is particularly helpful for pregnant and lactating women as well as growing children.

4. Helps with weight loss

It is rich in fibre and keeps you satiated for a long time. Plus, kala chana releases sugar slowly in the blood. No wonder, this protein-rich source is beneficial for those who want to lose weight!

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