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Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry – Legumes All The Way

15 August 2012 11 Comments

Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry -

Dicotyledonous, low in fat, loaded with nutrients, fibers and protein, nodules in their roots, red, speckled, white purple colored beans are some of the salient features of legume family” ….Phew, heard my son muttering from his study room. And I think I know my beans much better after reading & learning with my son.

Lentils are an integral part of any Indian kitchen. Be it a simple Daal recipe with green gram, red lentil, black gram, Bengal gram or a spicy Sambhar fromSouth India, lentil is a star of Indian cuisine.

I reserve the whole beans for weekends, combine it with some light salad or yogurt raita and serve it with either plain Indian flat breads, whole-wheat bread or flavored Basmati rice.

During winter season the same recipe gets transformed into a filling and healthy soup as explained in the chickpea recipe below, which is similar to Harira, a Moroccan soup prepared during festive seasons.

Thanks to my health store, I now get to experiment with varieties of beans which were not a common sight a few years back. I used to cook  only the red Kidney beans or Rajma as the only available bean here. But now there is Navy beans, lima beans, fava beans, Cannellini beans, Adzuki beans and many more in my pantry.

I like Pinto beans which have streaks of reddish brown on pink skin and almost look like kidney beans. These beans are easier to cook than the slightly larger variety of red beans or kidney beans.

Both the recipes below are family favorite and are cooked frequently on weekdays. Over the time I have found much quicker way to cook both of these traditional recipes  which save not only my time but taste just as good as the original.

Chickpea and lentil soupy curry

Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry -

Black and green variety of chickpea or Garbanzo beans..


  • 1/2 cup dried green chickpeas
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic pearls
  • 1 ‘ginger
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 cups of plain water
  • 3 tbsp. oil/olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper powder
  • Salt as desired

Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry -

Method; Rinse dried green chickpeas (sabut channa) in plain water and soak overnight in 4 cups of water. Use pressure cooker to reduce the time of cooking, as chickpeas take long time to cook.

Peel and dice onion, tomato, garlic and ginger.

Pour soaked chickpeas along with the water in a pressure cooker and add cloves, diced onion, tomato, garlic and ginger in it. Pressure cook for 7-8 whistle. If you are using normal vessel to cook, you need to let it boil for an hour till the chickpeas are soft to touch.

Let the pressure cooker cool a bit. Mash the cooked ingredients in the pressure cooker slightly with a potato masher or a ladle. Adjust the quantity of water according to your requirement and add salt in it.

Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry -

Mix cumin, turmeric and chilly spice powder with two tsps. of water. Heat oil in a wok and add the wet spice mix in it. Cook for 2 minutes o slow heat.

Pour this tempering over the cooked chickpea broth.

Garnish the healthy and refreshing chickpea soup with black pepper powder, fresh coriander leaves, lemon juice and serve hot with whole-wheat bread, couscous or plain rice.

Pinto Beans with Black lentils’

Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry -

Pinto beans and split black gram


  • 1/2 cup Pinto beans or pink beans
  • 1/4 cup black gram or urad dal
  • 2 tbsp.Bengalgram or channa dal
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1” ginger
  • 3-4 garlic pearls
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. oil/clarified butter
  • 2 green chillies
  • Salt to taste


  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry -

Pink Pinto bean, kidney bean and the black gram…

Method; Wash beans and soak it overnight in plain water. Discard the after in the morning and soak it again with the washed black lentil and Bengal gram for an hour.

Peel, dice and prep onion, tomato, ginger and garlic.

Pressure cooker is the easy and quick way to prepare beans. Check here to learn more on how to cook in a pressure cooker. Pour soaked beans and lentils with water in the pressure cooker.

Add diced onion, tomato, ginger and garlic along with cloves and turmeric powder. Pressure cook it for 6-7 whistles or for 20 minutes on slow heat (my mom hates the sounds of whistle and keep her cooker at slow).

Let the cooker cool down before opening it. Add salt in it and mash all the ingredients slightly leaving half of the beans intact.

Dice green chilies finely and mix red chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala in the tomato paste. Add this. Heat oil in a wok and splutter cumin seeds in it. Add the green chilies and the spice mixed tomato paste in it, cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat.

Pour this tempering over the cooked beans and cook again for a few minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with Indian flat bread, plain rice or with any bread.

Recipe | Pinto Beans with Black Gram and a Chickpea Soupy Curry -

Pink Pinto bean and the red kidney bean..


  1. Add diced carrots, celery and any other veggies in the chickpea soup to make it more healthier and yummy recipe.
  2. Discard the water in which beans and lentils are soaked overnight to avoid flatulence-producing enzymes.
  3. Use bright red Kashmiri chilly to give a wonderful color to the 2nd recipe.
  4. Black gram or urad dal can be replaced with whole green gram in the 1st recipe.
  5. You can replace kidney beans or Rajma in the 2nd recipe.



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  • Jyoti said:

    Lentils are indeed a staple part of any Indian kitchen.. Loved your preparation of curries..
    Jyoti recently posted..Wordless Wednesday ~ Roses!My Profile

  • kristy @ the wicked noodle said:

    What a delicious, healthy side dish! Although I love beans as a main dish, too, especially with rice. Another great recipe, thanks!
    kristy @ the wicked noodle recently posted..homemade ricottaMy Profile

  • kankana said:

    I am so not a bean or lentil person and my husband is just the opposite 🙂 I however love chickpea and this might make both of us happy!
    kankana recently posted..Understanding ISO, Aperture and Shutter SpeedMy Profile

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook said:

    Haha, I was going to comment exact opposite to what Kankana said. I love beans and so wish that I can eat more often, but my kids and husband are not into beans. How could they? Look at your soupy curry… I want to dip bread or chapati and eat this. Such a comforting food!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Omurice | Japanese Omelette Rice | オムライスMy Profile

  • marla said:

    Ohhhh, I have never tried green chickpeas ~ sure I would love them. Such a nice savory dish!

  • mjskit said:

    Where I am we only get the dried chickpeas that are white looking. I’ve never seen the black and green varieties. What beautiful beans and what a gorgeous pictures (all the pics)!!! Pinto beans are some of my favorite beans but I usually resort to a southwest flavoring. I love your seasonings and it makes a quite different bowl of beans for me. Going to have to give the pinto and lentils stew a try! Looks delicious!
    mjskit recently posted..Corn, Mushroom and Green Chile TamalesMy Profile

  • Jeanette said:

    I can’t wait to try these recipes! I haven’t seen green chickpeas around, but I’m definitely going to look for them now.
    Jeanette recently posted..Healthy Snack Recipes for Kids – Food for the Brain – Part 3My Profile

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie said:

    Oh my this looks so so good! I could eat a huge bowl, or two. Thanks for sharing:)
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie recently posted..Mini Pork, Grilled Onions & Blue Cheese Sandwiches, Plus A Taste From The PastMy Profile

  • Minnie@thelady8home said:

    I came across your blog at Jamie’s and got intrigued by your post title…..I love lentils, and making them in different way and this looks lip smacking delish. Must try.
    Minnie@thelady8home recently posted..Happy Weekend, a refreshing drink and one lovely blog awardMy Profile

  • Pratiba Bhat said:

    Lentils are really rich in protein content. I too make it in a similar way. 🙂 It gets really tasty. Oh yes! I love this curry with a sprinkling of dill leaves! 🙂
    Pratiba Bhat recently posted..Brewing a cup of TeaMy Profile

  • Susan said:

    Such striking photos, Sanjeeta, that I was temporarily derailed by the beauty of your multi-legume recipe.

    Thanks so much for joining in MLLA 50. I will have round-up online very soon. Apologies for delay.

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