This authentic chana masala is hearty, comforting, and full of flavors! It is one of the most popular vegetarian curries around the world. This easy recipe is made using dried chickpeas and aromatic chana masala powder and is perfect for a satisfying meal.
Skip your takeaway and make perfectly spiced, wholesome, and easy chana masala at home!
Chana masala, or chole masala, is a popular North Indian dish made using white chickpeas (garbanzo beans) cooked in a spiced onion-tomato masala base. The preparation of chana masala can vary based on regional preferences and personal tastes, but the basic ingredients include chickpeas, Indian spices, tomatoes, and onions.
In this recipe, I am using homemade chana masala powder; however, this spice blend is easily available in Indian grocery stores and online stores like Amazon. Enjoy this vegan chickpea curry for a hearty and comforting meal.
Why you will love this recipe?
- This chickpea curry is a flavorful and satisfying dish. The spices in my recipe give the dish a delicious and authentic flavor.
- It is a versatile dish. Chana masala can be served with rice, roti, or naan. It can also be eaten as a snack or appetizer.
- Chana masala curry is naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Making chana masala powder at home
Chana masala powder is a spice blend made using ground spices and whole spices. It is really simple to put together, and the best part of this spice blend is that you won't need any additional spices to make this curry. While chole masala powder is easily available in Indian grocery stores, it does not match the taste of a freshly ground spice blend.
This spice blend is made using a mix of whole and ground spices. Some spices used include cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dried chilies, bay leaf, turmeric powder, ginger powder, dry mango powder, etc.
Chickpeas: Dried chickpeas must be soaked and boiled in the
Chana masala powder: I use homemade spice powder, but you may use store-bought ones.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Soak the dry chickpeas in water overnight (or for 8-10 hours). Once the chickpeas are soaked, wash them thoroughly in fresh water. Add the chickpeas to the
Step 2: Heat oil in a
Step 3: Add the fresh tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Add tomato paste and mix well. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat until the tomatoes and spices are completely cooked, about 5-7 minutes (images 3 and 4).
Step 4: Add the cooked chickpeas. Add water to adjust the consistency, and check and adjust the seasoning (images 5 and 6).
Step 5: Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Crush dry kasoori methi in your palm and add it along with fresh cilantro and lemon juice (images 7 and 8).
I recommend using raw/dried chickpeas for this curry. To prepare them, soak one cup of chickpeas overnight or for at least 8 hours. Discard the soaking water and then cook them in a pressure cooker or
Pressure cook in
To use canned chickpeas as a quicker alternative, you will need 2.5 cups for this recipe. Drain and rinse them thoroughly before using.
If you like your chana masala to be thicker, you can mash some of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon. This will help to thicken the sauce.
You can use red chili powder or green chilies to increase the heat of this Indian chickpea curry.
Yes, you can use canned chickpeas in this recipe. However, I recommend using dried chickpeas soaked overnight if you have time. This will give the chickpea curry a better flavor and texture.
Yes, you can make this dish ahead of time. Let it cool completely, then store it in the refrigerator or freeze it for longer storage. When ready to eat, reheat it on the stovetop or microwave.
Certainly! Spinach, potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers can be added for extra flavor and nutrition. Add them during the cooking process as desired.
To store chana masala, ensure it has cooled to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 5 days. This chole masala freezes well and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Portion the chole masala into freezer-safe containers and label the containers. When ready to enjoy it, thaw the frozen chana masala in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or microwave.
More chickpea recipes
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- 1 cup chickpeas or 2 ½ cups canned chickpeas see notes
- 2 tablespoon chana masala powder (use store-bought or homemade chana masala powder)
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 2 large tomatoes (finely chopped)
- ½ cup tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
- 1-1½ teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- ½ lemon
Soak and pressure cook chickpeas:
- Soak the chickpeas in water overnight (or for 8-10 hours).
- Once the chickpeas is soaked, wash it thoroughly in fresh water. Add the chickpeas to the Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker along with ½ teaspoon of salt and 3 cups of water.Pressure cook in Instant Pot - 20 minutes and 10 minutes NPR.Stovetop pressure cooker - 3 whistles on medium heat and then 10 minutes on low heat. Let the pressure come down naturally.
- While the chickpeas are cooking, you can start making the curry base.
Make the chickpea curry:
- Heat oil in a frying pan or kadhai. Fry onions until they are translucent.
- Add chola masala powder and fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.
- Add tomato puree and mix well. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes and spices are completely cooked (5-7 minutes).
- Add the cooked chickpeas. Add water to adjust the consistency, and check and adjust the seasoning.
- Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Crush dry kasuri methi in your palm and add it to the chole masala. Also, add the chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Mix well and serve hot.