How to make Chana Masala/Chickpea Curry #221

Chickpea is one of the most common staple in Indian house-hold. Chana masala is one of the popular curry made from chickpea. This can be eaten with plain rice or any sort of Indian bread such as chapati, poori, naan etc.

Chana masala can be dry or semi-dry. It’s moderately spicy with flavors of coriander and cumin seeds with a tangy hint. It can be served both as a main course or a tea-time snack. I am sharing my mom’s take on the recipe.

Things you need:

1. Potato (Optional)
2. Green Bell Pepper / Capsicum (Optional)
3. Tomatoes
4. Onion
5. Garlic
6. Ginger
7. Coriander leaves
Chickpeas / Chana / Kabuli Chana (~300 g)
Whole spices like Cloves (4), Cardamom(4), Cinnamon (2 small sticks), Bay leaf(4)
Ground spice like Cumin powder + Coriander powder (total 10-12 g in equal ration), turmeric powder (~3 g), Red Chili powder (~1.5 g), special chana masala spice(8 g), salt, sugar
Tamarind pulp (Mom used raw mango pickle in place of tamarind)
Baking Soda, Tea bag


  1. Soak the chickpeas over-night. Few people add baking soda at this stage, mum does not do that.
  2. Boil the chickpeas with a tea-bag and a little salt. The tea-bag is just for the dark color, trust me you won’t taste the tea in the final dish! You can skip the tea-bag if you want.
  3. Strain the chickpeas after they have become soft. 6 whistles worked for us in the pressure cooker. Keep it aside, straining the water.
  4. Finely chop onion , garlic and ginger. Fry the ginger separately. Then fry the onions and garlic until golden brown. Ginger may get burnt if fried along with onions.
  5. Roughly chop 4 tomatoes, add 2 green chilies. Grind them adding tamarind pulp and the fried onion-garlic-ginger. This paste will a smooth gravy.
  6. Cut small cubes of potatoes, shallow fry them with a pinch of salt.


  1. Hit some cooking oil in a pan. Tamper the whole spices- cardamom, clove, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Take them out and boil them in 300-400 ml. water.
  2. Add cumin seeds and green chilies (optional) to the same oil.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the oil and stir on medium flame.
  4. Add turmeric powder, chili powder salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, chana masala spice and salt to the gravy. Cook it until the gravy starts leaving the oil.
  5. Add the boiled chickpeas to the gravy. Mix until well combined.
  6. Add the flavor infused boiled water (from step 1) to the chickpea. Throw the whole spices away.
  7. Let it simmer on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the fried potatoes and bell pepper/ capsicum to the gravy.
  9. Add salt and sugar to cut the sourness from tamarind.
  10. Keep it on medium heat for another 5-10 minutes, for the gravy to get absorbed in the chickpeas and potatoes.

Chana masala is ready to be devoured. Garnish it with some fresh coriander leaves/ cilantro.

If you like it, check-out some other recipes here.

Post Author: Molten Cookie Dough

A typical Pisces person.

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