Chana | Chickpea Masala

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Chana | Chickpea Masala| is a delicious & flavorful Indian curry made by cooking chickpeas in a spicy onion tomato masala gravy.

It can be eaten with roti, naan, poori, parathas, aapam, idiyappam or even with flavored rice like jeera rice or ghee rice.

Chana also known as channay, chole masala, or chole is a dish originating from the Indian subcontinent. The main ingredient is a variety of chickpea called chana or kala chana.

Serve this vegetarian Indian chickpea curry as a main meal or side dish. Easy and simple Chana Masala using raw chickpeas that are soaked overnight and then cooked with onion, tomatoes, and spices.

In Delhi though,  Chole is very similar to Chana Masala but uses a special blend of spices.

Both are made with white chickpeas but chana masala is made using basic everyday Indian spices.

Punjabi style chole is also usually darker in color and simmered for much longer time. I will share that recipe later.

The dish uses everyday Indian spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, chilly powder, turmeric, and garam masala along with whole spices like bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds & cardamom pods.

How to use chickpeas?

Before preparing chana masala, we have to soak chana/chickpeas in water for a min of 8 hrs or overnight.

Let us see how to prepare chana masala.

Chana | Chickpea Masala

Course: Gravy, MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1cup chena/chickpeas soaked overnight

  • 11/2cups of water

  • 1/4tsp turmeric powder

  • 1tbsp oil

  • 1inch cinnamon

  • 1 or 2 cloves

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 or 3 nos cardamom pods

  • 1/4tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 medium sized onion finely chopped

  • 2 medium sized tomatoes pureed

  • 1tsp crushed ginger

  • 1tsp crushed garlic

  • Fresh curry leaves

  • 3/4tsp coriander powder

  • 3/4tsp to 1tsp chilly powder

  • 1/2tsp cumin powder

  • 1/2tsp garam masala

  • 1/4tsp aamchur powder

  • Salt to taste

  • Coriander leaves


  • Pressure Cooking Chana
  • Firstly, in a large bowl take 1 cup chickpea and soak in enough water for overnight or 8hrs.
  • Transfer the soaked chickpea to a pressure cooker.
  • Add in salt, 1/4tsp turmeric powder and 2 cups water.
  • Pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles in medium flame until chana is cooked well.
  • Chana Masala Preparation
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a kadai & saute 3 pod cardamom, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, 1clove & 1 inch cinnamon stick until spices turn aromatic.
  • Add 1tsp crushed ginger & garlic & saute till the raw smell goes.
  • Add in fresh curry leaves & finely chopped onion. Saute until they turn golden brown.
  • Further add in 3/4tsp coriander powder, 3/4tsp to 1tsp chilly powder, 1/2tsp cumin powder, 1/2tsp garam masala, 1/4tsp aamchur powder & saute on low flame until the masala turn aromatic.
  • Now add tomato puree(see notes) and mix well.
  • Saute until the oil separates from the masala paste.
  • now add in pressure cooked chana and mix well adjusting consistency as required.
  • cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the flavors are well absorbed.
  • Sprinkle 1tsbp chopped corriander leaves & switch off flame.
  • Serve chana masala with aapam/rotis, puri or hot steamed rice.

Recipe Video


  • Soak chickpeas overnight.
  • To prepare tomato puree, blend two ripened tomatoes to a smooth paste without adding any water.

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