Chana masala (Chickpea curry)

Chana masala / Chickpea curry

Chole / chana / chickpeas is one of the best vegetarian protein source available to us. There are many popular recipes from India, from kadala curry from the south to popular chole in the northern part. As a food lover and as I love to explore different cuisines, I keep trying different recipes so I get to learn and eat them too.

Chickpeas or chana  come in different varieties, the white and the black varieties are commonly known to every one.  It is rich in fibre and is great if you are looking for a healthy meatless dish to satisfy this is your recipe then. It tastes great with Indian breads or rice. My best memories of chole comes from eating in a famous chain of restaurants in Chennai which serves hot chole or chana batura. I have tried to bring the recipe closest to what I remember tasting back home.

chana masala

Now, some tips I have learnt from trying the recipe are

  1. Soak the chana or chole well for 8-12 Hours or over night and pressure cook for about 5-6 whistle. This helps in cooking the chana easily. Soaking lesser time may make the chana or chickpeas hard to cook and may take much longer.
  2. Browning the onions and tomatoes brings about the best flavors in it. Be patient and cook with love.
  3. Adding chana or chole masala brings the authentic taste, if you don’t have it you can replace it with chat masala and little dry mango powder.
  4. Adding roasted kasuri methi powder to the chole or chana towards the end brings about a very nice flavour.

  Chana Masala  Indian Spices 

Chana masala chole masala

Chana Masala

chana masala

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Soaking time 12 hrs
Course brunch, dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, northindian


  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 cup kala chana or black chick peas dry
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 2 cups Water (adjust to desired consistency)
  • 2 Tomatos (Large,Pureed)
  • 1 Onion pureed)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder adjust to desired spice level
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp chole masala
  • 1 tsp roasted kasuri methi powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Coriander powder (for garnish)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Coriander leaves (for garnish)
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilli powder (for tadka)
  • 1 tbsp oil (for tadka)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)


  • Wash and soak the chana in water for 8-12 hours or over night preferably to ensure the channa or chickpeas cooks well.
  • In a pressure cooker add the washed and soaked chana and pressure cook with about 2 cups of water and little salt to about 5-6 whistles. Keep it aside.
  • In a heavy bottom pan or a pot, add oil and once hot add in the onion puree, and ginger garlic paste and sauté it until the onions turn golden and brown and comes out rolling. Add a little water to deglaze the pot and mix it in the onions.
  • Next add in the tomato puree and sauté well along with the onions. Cook for a few minutes until you start seeing the tomatoe pure begins to bubble.
  • Next add in masala powders mentioned( red chilli, coriander, cumin powder, chole masala, turmeric and salt). Sauté well until the masalas mix well and cook until the masala is fully absorbed and the mixture has become slighly dry and thick in consistenc.
  • Next add in the pressure cooked, chana along with the water in it. Cook for about 10 minutes on low flame covered or until you start seeing oil separating on the sides.
  • Next add in the kasuri methi powder
  • Remove about 3 tbsp of the cooked chana from the pot and add to a cup and mash it with the ack of the spoon to a paste and add it back to the curry. This helps in thickening the gravy a little more.
  • Add sugar, check if salt is right and simmer the chole / chana for 10 minutes covered, add little more water if required and cook until you see oil slightly around the edges of the gravy.
  • Switch off the flame and serve it in your serving dish
  • Final step is to add the aromatic tadka. In a small wok, add in oil for tadka, Slit green chillies once hot add in the red chilli powder for tadka and turn off the flame. You'll start to see the red chilli powder will start to foam up a nicely and when is is completely done add the tadka on top of the channa masala prepared.
  • And your delicious chole or chana masala is ready to eat. enjoy with rice or poori or roti or bhatura.


  1. If after pressure cooking your chana is still not done fully, add a little water and pressure cook again for a couple of whistles so it cooks well.
  2. If you want to reduce the spice level avoid adding the green chillies in the last tadka step.
  3. Adding tadka elevates the dish to another level so don't skip it.
Keyword dinner ideas, high protein, non veg recipes, vegan, vegetarian

step by step pictures for your understanding…

Chana Masala Chana Masala Chana Masala

Brown the onion puree and ginger garlic paste ,Add in the tomatoes and cook well.

Chana Masala Chana Masala

Add in the spice powders, and cook until dry.

Chana Masala

Add the precooked black chickpeas or chana , Mix well.

Chana Masala Chana Masala Chana Masala

roast and grind kasturi methi, add more water to adjust consistency. Cover and simmer till oil separates , finally add aromatic tadka and serve hot


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