Chana Masala

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Chana Masala

Chana masala (or chole masala) is a very popular Northern Indian dish originating in Punjab. There are many variations, though the dish typically includes onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chilies, coriander and turmeric and of course, chickpeas. This is one of the versions of chana masala that I make using homemade chana masala powder, although you can find commercial blends of chana masala powder as well as the other ingredients in this recipe at your local Indian or Asian grocer.

Chana MasalaChana Masala
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 18, 2007

Classic hot, tart and tangy North Indian chickpea curry

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter and oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2-inch fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 to 3 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chana masala powder
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 dried bay leaf, crushed into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • handful of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, and transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1//2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer 1/4 cup of the cooked chickpeas to a bowl and mash to a paste with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.

  • Heat the ghee or butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir for a few minutes or until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Next add the onion, stir for 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the crushed ginger and garlic. Continue to stir for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the green chilies and chana masala powder. Stir for a minute to coat the vegetables with the spice powder.

  • Now add the tomatoes, bay leaf, turmeric and chili powder to the pan, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are thickened. When the tomatoes are nearly done, add the mashed chickpeas and the garam masala and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked chickpeas and the reserved cup of cooking liquid. Simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

  • Season with salt and finish off by adding the chopped herbs. Serve hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Reg said...

Where's The Beef?

Lisa Turner said...

At the farmyard, grazing on some grass.

Colette said...

Do you have a Chana Sag recipe? I have had a terrible time finding a good one.

Lisa Turner said...

I will try to come up with a good version. Stay tuned. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Colette said...

Thank you! I'll stay tuned. Enjoyed the blog very much. Great find! I became vegan earlier this year and am always on the lookout for good ideas and recipes.