Chana masala – the Indian vegan chickpea curry which is famous through out the world. It is also popular as punjabi chole all over India.Jump to Recipe
What is chana masala?
The dish originating from North India, means Chana, meaning chickpea is cooked in a tomato onion gravy along with a spice mix.
The spice mix 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 I tell him I’m posting a recipe in blog.
I’ve cooked this number of times to match the restaurant style chana masala recipe and gain a 5 star from my husband ( Though it is always 4.5 stars and says he says tere is always scope for improvement).
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 chickpea recipes –
- Kadale manoli sukka – Garbanzo beans ivy gourd south indian style stir fry.
- Kala chan chaat – Street style garbanzo beans salad.
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 chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 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, 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.