chana masala

Chana masala recipe : A fusion of indian delight

Chana masala is a famous North Indian dish composed of chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and an aromatic spice blend. It is a popular dish in many Indian households and is also known as chole masala or channa.

Chickpeas are boiled until tender before being cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce to make chana masala. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and garam masala, a blend of ground spices that may contain cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and other aromatic components, are common spices used in chana masala.

Typically, chana masala is served with rice or flatbreads such as naan or roti. It can also be served with a side of yogurt, pickles, or chopped onions for extra taste and texture.

Chana masala is a filling dish strong in protein, fiber, and other critical elements. It is also a terrific vegetarian or vegan option and can easily be adjusted to suit different preferences by altering the spice level or adding additional veggies such as potatoes or spinach.

chana masala

Ingredients for chana masala

  • 250 gm chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish

Instructions for chana masala

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil.
  2. Sauté the onions until softened and gently browned.
  3. Cook for 1 minute after adding the ginger and garlic.
  4. Cook until the chopped tomatoes have softened and the mixture has thickened.
  5. Combine the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garam masala in a mixing bowl. Stir
  6. everything together and heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant.
  7. Stir in the chickpeas to coat them with the spice mixture.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


1. Soak Chickpeas Overnight:

For an unbeatable texture, soak chickpeas overnight before cooking. This simple step ensures they absorb moisture, resulting in a more tender and flavorful Chana Masala.

2. Use Fresh Ingredients:

The key to an outstanding Chana Masala lies in the freshness of your ingredients. Opt for ripe tomatoes, crisp onions, and vibrant spices to enhance the overall flavor profile.

3. Toast Spices Before Cooking:

Take your Chana Masala to the next level by toasting spices before adding them to the dish. This technique intensifies their flavors, creating a robust and aromatic blend.

4. Experiment with Whole Spices:

Consider incorporating whole spices like cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon sticks for a nuanced flavor. Remember to remove them before serving to avoid overpowering the dish.

5. Adjust Spice Levels:

Tailor the spice levels to your preference. If you enjoy a fiery kick, increase the amount of chili powder, or for a milder version, reduce it accordingly.

Variations to Explore

1. Coconut Chana Masala:

Infuse a hint of tropical sweetness by adding coconut milk to the recipe. This variation introduces a creamy texture and a delightful twist to the traditional recipe.

2. Spinach and Chana Masala:

Boost the nutritional content by incorporating fresh spinach into your Chana Masala. The earthy flavor of spinach complements the spices, creating a wholesome and balanced dish.

3. Paneer Chana Masala:

For a protein-packed option, add cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) to your Chana Masala. This variation introduces a creamy element and elevates the overall richness of the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Chana masala pairs well with steamed rice. It also goes well with flatbreads such as naan, roti, or chapati. You can either buy pre-made flatbreads or make them from scratch.

A side of yogurt helps to balance the spiciness of the chana masala and adds a cooling note. You can serve plain yogurt or raita, which is a yogurt-based dip made with cucumbers, tomatoes, and spices. A simple salad made with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions dressed with lemon juice and salt is a refreshing accompaniment.


  1. Is chana masala healthy?

It can be a healthy dish, as it’s high in protein and fiber and contains a variety of vegetables and spices. However, the amount of oil and salt used in the recipe can affect its overall nutritional value.

  1. How do I make chana masala less spicy?

If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or omit it entirely. You can also add a dollop of yogurt or cream to the dish just before serving to help cool down the spiciness.

  1. Can I make chana masala ahead of time?

Yes, you can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it for longer storage.

  1. What can I substitute for chickpeas in chana masala?

If you don’t have chickpeas on hand, you can substitute them with other beans such as kidney beans or black beans. However, the flavor and texture of the dish may be slightly different.

Chana masala


Calories 180kcal
Fat 2g
Carbohydrates 34g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Calcium 198mg


Also read: Vanilla Cupcake recipe

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