Chana masala – the Indian vegan chickpea curry which is famous through out the world. It is also popular as punjabi chole all over India.
What is chana masala?
Chana masala is a dish originating from North India. Here Chana, means chickpea, is cooked in a tomato onion gravy along with a spice mix.
The spice mix used is called Chole masala and is readily available in market. I usually use good brand chole masala powder since it comes handy and saves lots of time.
Chana masala has always been my husbands favourite. And he is a very strict food critic, when it comes to a recipe to be posted in this blog.
Is this chana masala recipe vegan?
Yes, this chana masala recipe is vegan. But you can add a bit of cream at the end, if you like.
I’ve cooked this number of times to match the restaurant style chana masala recipe and gain a 5 star from my husband ( it is always 4.5 stars as he says there is always scope for improvement). And so I can say this is a fool proof recipe you can get it right in first attempt.
Lets begin with chana masala recipe –
Here are some of my tips for a good chana masala :
- Use good quality chana masala powder if using store brought one.
- Use almost same ratio of onion and tomato. That is if using 1 cup of onion use around 1 to 1.5 cups of tomato, do not exceed this ratio.
- Cook onion tomato gravy for minimum of 20 mins. Otherwise the gravy will be of very tomato flavour and chana masala will not taste like restaurant one.
- If you want black coloured chana masala, then cook soaked chickpeas with 2 regular tea bags.
Step by step method –
1- Rinse couple of times and soak 1 cup chickpeas with 2 cups of water overnight or minimum of 8 hrs. Drain the liquid and pressure cook soaked chickpea with 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp salt in medium high flame for 4 whistles.
Remove the whistle once pressure releases completely. Remember each pressure cooker may be different, so cook chickpeas till you get soft texture when you press it. From this, take 1/4 cup chickpeas, mash them and keep it separate from the rest of the chickpeas.
2- Heat 3 tbsp oil in pan, keeping the heat medium. To this add bay leaf, cinnamon and 2 cardamom and fry till fragrant. Now add chopped onion and stir. I prefer to close the lid and cook the onions for about 5 mins instead of frying them.
3- Once onion turns translucent, add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw smell disappears.
4- Add tomatoes and mix well. Close the lid again and allow the tomatoes to soften. This takes about 15 minutes.
5- Now add turmeric powder, chilli powder and chole masala powder and mix well. Cook this for another 5 mins. Add little water, because tomatoes become dry.
6- Now add 1/4 cup of mashed chickpeas and mix well. cook this for 2-3 mins.
7- To this add all the cooked chickpeas and about 1/2 cup of water and simmer in medium flame for another 10 mins.
8- Once the gravy is thickened, sprinkle a pinch of garam masala and switch of the stove and garnish with coriander leaves.
9- Serve chana masala with hot roti, poori or bhatura.
Also check our other favourite curry recipes –
- Dal tadka recipe – tasty, quick and easy home style lentil curry.
- Padengi gassi – Vegan sprount green gram/ green moong curry.
Chana masala | Indian chickpea curry
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup tomato chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 tsp chole masala powder
- 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 green cardamom
- salt to taste
- pinch of garam masala
- coriander leaves for garnishing
- Rinse 1 cup of couple of times in running water. Soak this chickpeas in 2 cups of water overnight or minimum of 8 hrs.
- Drain the water and transfer the soaked chickpeas to pressure cooker. To this add 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp salt. Pressure cook for 4 whistle in medium-high flame .
- Once the pressure is released completely, open the cooker. Remove a chickpea and press between the fingers. It should be soft and should get pressed through. If not, pressure cook again till it is soft (see Notes).
- Drain the water from chickpeas. Take 1/4 cup chickpeas from this, mash and keep it aside.
- In a pan, heat 3 tbsp oil in medium flame. To this add add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamon and fry till fragrant.
- Add onion and cook it till it turns translucent. Takes about 5 mins.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw smell disappears.
- Add tomatoes. Cook with lid closed in medium flame for about 15 mins till it turns soft and mushy.
- Once tomatoes are soft add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, chole masala powder and salt. Cook this for 5 mins.
- To this add mashed chickpeas, mix well and cook for another 2 mins.
- Now add the cooked chickpeas and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water and simmer in medium flame for 10 mins.
- Once gravy thickens sprinkle garam masala, mix well and put off the stove.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it with roti, poori or bhatura.
- Remember each pressure cooker may take different number of whistles to cook chickpeas till soft. Mine takes 4 whistle in medium- high flame.
- If not cooking in pressure cooker, cook in pot or pan till it is soft.
- You can use canned chickpeas too for this recipe.