Spicy Indian Chickpeas (Chana Masala)

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Spicy Indian Chickpeas (Chana Masala)

The last time I made chana masala, the classic Indian chickpea curry, I made a version using my own homemade homemade chana masala powder. I like to make variations of my favorite dishes, so this time around I started from scratch, without a recipe. I think this is my best chana masala to date, absolutely flavorful and healthy besides. Serve with a grain, like mushroom pulao rice, for a very tasty and spicy meal.

Spicy Indian Chickpeas (Chana Masala)Spicy Indian Chickpeas (Chana Masala)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on July 2, 2007

Classic Indian hot and spicy chickpea curry simmered in a seasoned tomato and onion sauce

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, butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 5 green or black cardamom pods
  • 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 to 4 fresh chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the chickpeas are buttersoft. Drain and set aside.

  • Spices
    Wipe the saucepan dry and return to the stove. Heat the ghee, butter or oil over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Stir for 30 to 60 seconds or until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the cumin seeds begin to brown.

  • Add the onions and stir for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown. Now add the ground coriander, ground cumin, cayenne and turmeric and stir to coat the onions with the spices. Toss in the chilies, garlic and ginger, and continue to stir for 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add the tomatoes and half of the lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced. Add the chickpeas, salt, black pepper to taste, half of the fresh parsley, the remaining lemon juice, and the garam masala. Simmer gently for 10 minutes to blend the flavors, adding water if necessary. The chickpeas should be fairly dry.

  • Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and stir in the remaining parsley. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings
Spicy Indian Chickpeas (Chana Masala)


Anonymous said...

interesting variation, gonna have to try it.

command economy said...

One of my favourite dishes. I like to mix yogourt/raita with chana masala as I eat it.

OK, that's it... now I have to go to Massey's for the lunch buffet. It doesn't compare with Lisa's cooking but it will have to do for now.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i'll have to try that one, too! i'm beginning to think i'm not too happy with mdh chana masala mix.... it's a little too salty. i'd also add dried mango powder here! yum!

basil said...

Mmmm . . . another success! Very spicy - maybe it was the extra peppers I added - delicious.

Sarah S. said...

Made this, and loved it! :)

Connie Bennett said...

How interesting to add cinnamon and ginger. Sounds quite yummy. Thanks for sharing.

By the way, I'd love to share a sugar-free recipe or more with readers of my Sugar Shock Blog.