Asia Vegan Recipes

Chickpea Curry-Indian Chana Masala

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Introduction: Chana Masala is a classic Indian dish that features tender chickpeas cooked in a flavorful blend of aromatic spices, tomatoes, and onions. This hearty and nutritious curry is a staple in Indian cuisine and is enjoyed with fluffy rice or traditional Indian flatbreads like roti or naan. The combination of spices creates a harmonious balance of flavors that make this dish truly delightful.

Ingredients: For cooking the chickpeas:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas (or 4 cups canned chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (if using dried chickpeas)
  • Water for soaking and cooking

For the curry:

  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or mustard oil)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder) or lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnishing)
  • Water (as needed for gravy consistency)


Preparing the Chickpeas:

  1. If using dried chickpeas, rinse them thoroughly and soak in water overnight. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking water, which helps soften the chickpeas. Rinse and drain the chickpeas after soaking.
  2. If using canned chickpeas, rinse them well under cold water to remove excess salt and preserve their texture.

Making the Chana Masala:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  3. Add minced garlic and grated ginger. Sauté for another 2 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and the oil starts to separate.
  5. Lower the heat and add the cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder. Sauté the spices for a couple of minutes until they release their aroma.
  6. If the mixture becomes too dry, you can add a splash of water to prevent burning.
  7. Add the cooked chickpeas to the pot and stir well to coat them with the spice mixture.
  8. Pour in enough water to create the desired gravy consistency. Start with about 1 cup and adjust as needed.
  9. Cover the pot and let the chickpeas simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the chickpeas to absorb the spices.
  10. Stir in the garam masala, amchur or lemon juice, and salt to taste. Adjust the spices according to your preference.
  11. Continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, ensuring the chickpeas are well-cooked and the flavors are well-incorporated.
  12. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro leaves.


  • For a richer flavor, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste or yogurt along with the tomatoes.
  • Adjust the spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder.
  • If you prefer a smoother gravy, you can blend the onion-tomato mixture before adding the chickpeas.
  • Serve Chana Masala with steamed rice, jeera rice, or traditional Indian flatbreads like roti, naan, or puri.
  • Leftover Chana Masala tends to taste even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld.

Cooking Time:

  • If using canned chickpeas: About 40-45 minutes
  • If using dried chickpeas (including soaking and cooking): About 2.5 to 3 hours

Enjoy your homemade Chana Masala with the delightful blend of spices, and relish the flavors of this classic Indian comfort dish!

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