Best Indian Chana Masala

Indian Chana Masala

Get ready for an adventure in the kitchen as you learn how to make Indian Chana Masala from scratch. In this recipe, I’ll show you step-by-step how to make this tasty Indian dish, so you can enjoy the real flavors and smells right in your own kitchen.

Indian Chana Masala

Recipe by Syed Wasif GilaniCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


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Chana Masala is a famous Indian dish made with soft chickpeas that have been simmered in a strong and fragrant tomato sauce. It’s full of fragrant spices and has a nice mix of flavors that will make your taste buds dance. This dish is great for a hearty, comforting meal that captures the spirit of Indian cooking.


  • 2 cups chickpeas (chana), soaked overnight and drained

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated

  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional, for added heat)

  • 2 large tomatoes, pureed

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi)

  • Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, chopped for garnish

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • Rinse the soaked chickpeas thoroughly and drain them. Place the chickpeas in a pressure cooker or a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Cook them until tender. In a pressure cooker, this usually takes about 15-20 minutes on medium heat after it comes to pressure. If using a pot, it may take around 1-2 hours to cook the chickpeas until they are soft. Once cooked, set them aside.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown, stirring occasionally. This process may take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped green chilies to the pan. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, garam masala, and paprika (if using). Stir well to coat the onions and spices evenly. Cook for about a minute to enhance the flavors.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes to the pan along with some salt. Stir everything together and let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes cook down and the mixture thickens slightly.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas to the pan and mix them well with the onion-tomato spice mixture. If needed, add a little water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
  • Crush the dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) between your palms and sprinkle them over the chana masala. This adds a unique flavor to the dish.
  • Cover the pan and let the chana masala simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Adjust the salt if needed.
  • Once the chana masala is cooked, turn off the heat and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice, roti (Indian bread), or naan. Accompany it with lemon wedges on the side for a tangy twist.
  • Enjoy your homemade Chana Masala, a flavorful and satisfying Indian dish!


  • You can change the taste of this recipe by adding more spices or a splash of lemon juice for a sour twist.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

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Nutrition Facts

6 servings per container

Serving Size150g

  • Amount Per ServingCalories200
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 8g 13%
    • Saturated Fat 0g 0%
    • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 600mg 25%
  • Potassium 0mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
    • Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
    • Sugars 7g
  • Protein 12g 24%

  • Vitamin C 20%
  • Iron 20%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Total Time to Make Indian Chana Masala

The Chana Masala recipe takes about an hour to make from start to finish. This covers both the time to get ready and the time to cook. Preparation takes about 15 minutes, during which you measure and gather the ingredients, chop the onions, garlic, and ginger, and, if you’re using canned chickpeas, drain and clean them. Once the items are ready, it takes about 45 minutes to cook. This means sautéing the onions, garlic, and ginger, adding the spices and tomatoes, and letting the dish boil until the flavors blend and the gravy thickens. Chana Masala which is full of flavor and filling can be ready to eat in about an hour after the cooking process begins.

Tips for Making Indian Chana Masala

These tips might be helpful while you are making this Indian masterpiece.

Soaking and Cooking Chickpeas: Soak chickpeas overnight or for 8 hours to soften them. Cook soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker or pot until tender. In a pressure cooker, cover chickpeas with water and cook until soft. In a pot, simmer chickpeas for 1-2 hours.

Adjusting Spice Levels: Customize Chana Masala to your taste. For milder flavor, use fewer green chilies or skip them. For more heat, add extra paprika or garam masala. Adjust spices as you cook to reach your preferred level of flavor and heat.

Enhancing Flavor with Kasuri Methi: Crush dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) for aroma. Sprinkle over Chana Masala during cooking to infuse a unique taste. Use sparingly due to its strong flavor.

Simmering for Richer Flavors: Let Chana Masala simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes after adding chickpeas to spices. This melds flavors for a richer dish. Stir occasionally for even flavor distribution.

Garnishing and Serving: Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro before serving. Serve Chana Masala hot with rice, roti, or naan. Add a tangy twist with lemon wedges on the side.

Best Indian Chana Masala Recipe

Serving Suggestions for Indian Chana Masala

I eat Indian Chana Masala with roti at home and it is my favorite. I don’t know what is your taste but you will definitely like this dish.

Rice and Roti Combinations: Pair Chana Masala with steamed rice or Indian bread like roti or naan. The flavorful gravy complements the rice’s mildness, while the bread is great for soaking up the curry.

Accompaniments and Condiments: Serve Chana Masala with sides like cucumber-tomato raita for cooling contrast, tangy pickles, and fresh onions with lemon wedges.

Vegetable Pulao or Biryani: Elevate your meal with Chana Masala and vegetable pulao (vegetable rice) or biryani. These rice dishes offer a mix of flavors and textures.

Salad and Chutney: Add freshness with a side salad of cucumber, tomatoes, and onions. Pair it with mint coriander or tamarind chutney for tanginess.

Garnishes and Fresh Herbs: Finish with chopped cilantro for color, yogurt or butter for richness, and garnishes like fried onions or cashews for crunch.

Dietary Information for Indian Chana Masala


My Advice

Don’t forget to change the spices and sauces to suit your own tastes. You can try out different spice mixes or add things like tomatoes, spinach, or bell peppers to your Chana Masala to make it your own. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to this recipe. Enjoy making this famous Indian dish and savoring its delicious taste. Have you tried making Chana Masala before? Tell me in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many calories are in Chana Masala?

The calorie content of Chana Masala can vary depending on the ingredients and portion size. On average, a serving of Chana Masala contains approximately 250-300 calories. However, it’s important to note that calorie counts can differ based on individual recipes and variations in ingredients used.

Can you freeze Chana Masala?

Yes, you can freeze Chana Masala for later use. Allow the dish to cool completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag, and label it with the date. Chana Masala can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the frozen dish in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Does Chana Masala have dairy?

Traditional Chana Masala does not contain dairy products. The dish is typically made with chickpeas, spices, onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes, without the addition of dairy ingredients. It is a popular vegan and vegetarian dish that can be enjoyed by individuals with dairy-free diets.

Can I use canned chickpeas instead of soaking and cooking them from scratch?

Yes, you can use canned chickpeas as a convenient alternative to soaking and cooking them from scratch. Rinse the canned chickpeas thoroughly to remove any excess sodium or preservatives. Adjust the cooking time accordingly since canned chickpeas are already cooked, and add them to the recipe as instructed.

Can I make Chana Masala without onions and garlic?

Yes, you can adapt the recipe to make a version of Chana Masala without onions and garlic. Simply omit these ingredients from the recipe and adjust the seasoning and spices accordingly. You can enhance the flavor by adding alternative ingredients like asafoetida (hing), ginger, or fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) to compensate for the missing flavors. Experiment and find a combination of spices that suits your taste preferences.

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