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Chana Masala

9 Nov

Channa Masala.

Chana Masala is a very popular North Indian dish especially in Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Chickpeas / garbanzos are made into light gravy curry with dominating sour taste combined with a hint of heat. Chickpeas are soaked overnight and cooked along with a tea bag for the dark color the black tea imparts on chickpeas. Cook chickpeas are then simmered in tangy tomato onion sauce till done.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Chana Masala.


Chickpeas 1 1/2 Cups
Onion 1 Large
Tomatoes 3 Medium
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Green Chiles 2
Chana Masala Powder 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Black Tea Bag 1 (optional)
Dried Gooseberry / Dry Alma 3 Small Pieces (optional)
Lemon Juice 1 tsp
Cilantro a few sprigs
Salt to taste


Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Cinnamon 2 inch Long Stick
Bay Leaves 2 Small
Oil 1 tbsp

Chana Masala Powder:

Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds 1 1/2 tbsp
Cloves 1
Cinnamon 1/2 inch Piece
Green Cardamom 1
Mace 1/2 inch Piece
Nutmeg Powder a small Pinch
Dry Mango Powder 1/2 tsp
Dried Pomegranate Seeds 1/2 tsp
Black Salt 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation:

For chana masala powder, roast all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed vessel until aromatic.
Cool the roasted ingredients to room temperature and grind them into fine powder.
Store the powder in a tight jar and use when necessary.

Soak chickpeas in water overnight or for 6 – 8 hours.
Refresh soaked chickpeas under running water.
Pressure cook chickpeas in 3 1/2 cups of water along with a tea bag and dried gooseberry for 3 whistles.
Alternatively, cook them in a sauce pot with 4 cups of water for around 40 minutes or until chickpeas are soft.
Strain the cooked chickpeas and reserve the cooking stock for later use.

Remove stems, wash and finely chop the green chiles.
Peel, remove ends and very finely chop the onion.
Wash and finely chop the tomatoes.
Clean, remove stalks, wash and finely chop the cilantro leaves.

Heat oil in a pan on medium – high heat, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When cumin seeds start spluttering, add chopped onion.
Fry till onion turns light brown around the edges.
Now add green chiles and ginger garlic paste.
Fry for a minute or less and stir in chopped tomatoes.
Cook till tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
Stir in chana masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
Cook till the tomato mixture is thoroughly cooked and oil leaves from it.
Stir in the reserved cooking stock and bring to boil.
Now add cooked chickpeas and stir.
Cook covered on medium low flame for around 10 minutes to let chickpeas absorb all the flavors.
Uncover, add chopped cilantro, lemon juice and remove from heat.
Serve chana masala with plain or flavored rice or with roti or bhatura.
Notes:Make sure not to overcook the chickpeas.

Suggestions:If chickpeas are not cooked properly, add quarter cup of water and cook covered on low flame till done. Chickpea should mash completely when pressed between fingers.
Variations: A big pinch of garam masala can be stirred in as a final step to chana masala. Chana masala varies in the amount and the variety of ingredients being used in the chole masala powder. Tomatoes and onions can be ground to fine paste separately if desired.
Other Names: Chole Masala, Chhole, Chana Chole, Channa Masala, Chickpeas Curry, Garbanzo Curry.