Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad, also known as sukha Kala chana, is a quick and easy meal that packs in tons of flavors. This healthy and nutrient-packed dish comes together with just a handful of ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. Enjoy it as is, or pair it with sweet semolina pudding and deep-fried pooris to make a lip-smacking Ashtami meal!!
What is Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad?
In this whole term, 👆 Kala stands for black, and chana means chickpeas. When combined, it means Black Chickpeas.
Ashtami – It’s the time of the year when Navratri (festival of nine nights) is coming to an end, and every household is prepping up for Ashtami or Navmi pujan.
The eighth day of Navratri is celebrated as Durga Ashtami, which also marks the end of the fasting period for several devotees.
On this day, devotees offer prayers and prasad to Goddess Durga and perform Kanchike or Kanjak.
Prasad means a vegetarian food offering made to God.
So, the whole term – Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad means – A religious offering of cooked black chickpeas is offered to God (Mother Durga) on the auspicious eighth day (Ashtami).
What is Kanjak?
Kanjak means young girls within the age of birth – 9 years of age, and these girls are ceremonially worshiped.
This puja also referred to as Kanjak Pujan or Kanya pujan ( worshiping a girl child) and is celebrated either on Ashtami (the 8th day) or Navmi (the 9th day) of Navratri.
Durga Ashtami is the most auspicious day of the year, and people celebrate it with great zeal and enthusiasm.
How is Kanjak Pujan done?
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.
- When they are done eating and ready to leave, people shower them with gifts in the form of money or toys.
Each family follows their tradition as some worship Ashtami, and some do puja on Navami.
Health Benefits of Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad!
Black chickpeas or kala chana are incredibly healthy as they are –
- low in fat,
- naturally vegan and gluten-free
- contains no cholesterol,
- packed with protein
- high in dietary fiber,
- also rich in vitamins and minerals.
It’s a great addition to your daily diet, and it can be a reasonably versatile recipe.
How to make Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad?
1. Rinse the raw beans/legumes thoroughly under tap water.
2. Transfer them to a big bowl and soak the black chickpeas or kala chana in 3 cups of water for 6 hours. I highly recommend soaking the beans overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
3. By the morning, the beans will swell and double in size. Drain the water and rinse the chickpeas/chana once again under tap water.
4. Transfer the chana to the pressure cooker and add enough water to cover the chana. The chickpeas should be underwater.
5. Add salt and turmeric powder and pressure- cook on HIGH heat for 8-9 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
6. When the steam is out, carefully open the pressure cooker lid, and the chanas are all done – soft and tender.
7. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and as they start to crackle stir in all the spices one by one.
8. Carefully, add boiled chana to this pan.
9. Boil the chickpeas until all the water has evaporated.
10. Serve hot with poori and sooji halwa.
Faq’s related to Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad recipe!
Why soak the beans?
I like to soak all my beans/legumes because legumes contain phytic acid and foods containing phytic acid are harder to digest. Soaking also reduces flatulence, and provides more nutrients.
In addition to that, by soaking, we break down the phytic acid and make the bean more digestible. It also shortens the cooking time in half.
Since this prasad is consumed mostly by young girls, I prefer leaving out on the green chilies and cilantro, but feel free to experiment.
Feel free to add/delete spices to your liking. Adding a teaspoon of amchur (mango powder) will add some tanginess to this chana recipe.
To save some time!
Drain the cooked chickpeas and save the excess water for later. You can drink this water as it is loaded with good stuff and is very good for health.
You can boil Kala chana in the Instant Pot too!
Transfer the soaked and rinsed chickpeas to the insert of the Instant Pot. Add water and cook on HIGH pressure for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Other ways to enjoy Kale Chole/Black chickpeas!
If not using 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..
This is what we relished as children, and now my kids do the same with leftover Ashtami prasad.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe. Feel free to contact me with any questions or inquiries, and I would be happy to answer them.
HAPPY ASHTAMI TO ALL OF YOU!!
Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad
- Rinse the raw beans/legumes thoroughly under tap water. Transfer them to a big bowl and soak the black chickpeas or kala chana in 3 cups of water for 6 hours. I highly recommend soaking the beans overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
- By the morning, the beans will swell and double in size. Drain the water and rinse the chickpeas/chana once again under tap water.
- Transfer the chana to the pressure cooker and add enough water to cover the chana. The chickpeas should be underwater. Add salt and turmeric powder and pressure- cook on HIGH heat for 8-9 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
- When the steam is out, carefully open the pressure cooker lid, and the chanas are all done – soft and tender.
- Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and as they start to crackle stir in all the spices one by one.
- Carefully, add boiled chana to this pan.
- Boil the chickpeas until all the water has evaporated.
- Please scroll up to read all the faqs related to this recipe – in the main post. 👆
How to cook Durga Ashtami Prasad in 90 minutes?
Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided below is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. Please refer to a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionists if you have any health issues.
Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2.3mg