Chana Turai or as we call it Nenua Chana in Varanasi, is one of many, simple yet delicious side dishes which are prepared extensively in summer season across the eastern UP belt of India. The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and rustic flavors. Since childhood, it is one of my favorite side dish with Rice and Dal.

We know that whole Bengal Gram aka Kala Chana is very high in protein content along with other essential minerals. Similarly, Sponge Gourd aka Turai/Tori/Nenua is rich in Vitamin B5, nutrients, antioxidants, lipids and minerals. It’s a seasonal vegetable and considered very good for overall health. Presenting below my take on this classic Banarasi dish which tastes superb with Parantha, Poori, Roti or Rice Dal. Do try 🙂

Chana Turai (Nenua Chana)

Chana Turai Ingredients

750 grams of Sponge Gourd (Turai/Tori/Nenua), cleaned, peeled and sliced or chopped roughly.

1 cup whole Bengal Gram or Brown Chickpea ( Kala Chana), washed and soaked overnight or for 6 to 8 hours

2 tablespoon of Mustard Oil

1 teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds (Methi)

1/4 teaspoon of Asafoetida (Hing) powder

2 medium sized Onions, cleaned, peeled and chopped

5-6 cloves of Garlic, cleaned, peeled and chopped

2 green Chillies, cleaned and chopped

1 teaspoon of Turmeric (Haldi) powder

2 teaspoon of Coriander seeds (Dhania) powder

1 teaspoon of red Chilli powder

Salt as per taste

1/2 teaspoon of Garam Masala powder

1/2 teaspoon dry Mango (Amchoor) powder

1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera) powder

Water as needed

Chana Turai Method

1.  In a heated pan, add Mustard Oil on high flame and wait till light smoke comes out of the Oil, turn the heat to medium and add Fenugreek (Methi) seeds and Asafoetida (Hing) powder, mix them well. Let the seeds crackle for 10 seconds and turn golden brown in color.


2. Add chopped Onions into it and mix it well. Cook the mixture on medium flame, stirring occasionally till chopped Onions turn golden brown in colour.


3. Put chopped green Chillies and Garlic into it and mix it well for 40-45 seconds on medium flame.


4. Add red Chilli powder, Turmeric (Haldi) powder, Coriander seeds (Dhania) powder and Salt into the mixture and mix it well for 20-25 seconds on medium low flame.


5. Now add soaked whole Bengal Gram or Brown Chickpea (Kala Chana) in the pan and mix it well.


6. Add water into the pan just enough to submerge the whole Bengal Gram (Kala Chana) and mix it well. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cover the pan with a lid and allow Whole Bengal Gram to get cooked for about 10- 12 minutes on a medium-low flame.


7. When water is totally dried and your whole Bengal Gram is almost cook, add chopped Sponge Gourd ( Turai/Tori/Nenua) into it and mix it well. Once mixed, again cover it with a lid and allow Sponge Gourd to get cooked completely (it will take around 10 more minutes on medium flame, stirring occasionally).


8. When Sponge Gourd (Turai/Tori/Nenua) gets cooked, add Garam Masala powder, dry Mango (Amchoor) powder and Cumin seeds (Jeera) powder into it. Mix all things well and cook it for 2 – 3 minutes on low flame.


9. Switch off the flame and your Turai Chana Sabzi is ready.


Serve this amazing side dish with Roti or Rice. I personally like Turai Chana Sabzi with plain rice and Arhar ki Dal.

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Chana Turai (Nenua Chana)

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