Skip to Content

Chana Masala

Chana masala cooks in thick, tomato-based curry with onions, fresh ginger, garlic, green chilies, and cilantro; chickpeas are the perfect protein to finish the meal. 

Chana masala topped with cilantro and ready to be served.

Chana Masala

Tressa Jamil
Our restaurant-style chana masala comes together in 40 minutes, making it the perfect weeknight meal; it serves as a stand-alone meal or a tasty side dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 186 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon kalonji seeds, plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-3 Thai green chili, split lengthwise
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon homemade garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1-2 large tomatoes, chopped, use more if you prefer more gravy or curry
  • 2- 15oz. can chickpea, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped, plus more to garnish
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Warm ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon of kalonji seeds, cumin seeds, and green chilies. Cook until the ingredients sputter.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low, then add onion; cook until the onions brown and caramelize. Next, add garlic and ginger, and stir to combine.
  • Combine chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala in a small bowl. Stir the spices into the mixture until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the green chilies and use an immersion blender to blend the masala until smooth. Alternatively, you can remove the mixture from heat and add it to a blender or food processor.
  • Return the mixture to the pan, along with the reserved chilies. Then add the chickpeas, cilantro, 1/2 cup water, and bring it all to a simmer.
  • Sprinkle the dish with kalonji seeds and cover the pan with the lid slightly ajar. Lower the heat and maintain a gentle bubble. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until the mixture reduces.
  • Season chana masala with salt as needed, and garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 186kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 7gFat: 7gSodium: 369mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5g
Keyword chana masala
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!

Check out our web story for chana masala!

channa masala ingredients

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Ghee: Ghee is a staple in Indian and Pakistani cuisine and develops a deep, nutty base that sets the stage for the dish.
  • Seeds: Toasting cumin and kalonji seeds pronounces their flavor.
  • Chilis: Slit lengthwise, green chilies add heat that doesn’t overwhelm.
  • Onion: Use red or yellow onions to flavor the curry.
  • Garlic: I suggest using three cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – go for it.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger is a key ingredient for flavorful chana masala.
  • Spices: I use Kashmiri chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and coriander powder.
  • Tomato: Fresh tomatoes create a rich, flavorful masala for the chickpeas to simmer.
  • Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are convenient, but you can use dry ones if you don’t mind the extra work; soak chickpeas for 6-24 hours beforehand and increase the cooking time for this recipe to 1-2 hours.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro brightens and flavors the dish.
  • Salt

HOW TO MAKE CHANA MASALA

spices and chilies cooking in oil for chana masala

STEP 1

Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add one teaspoon of kalonji seeds, cumin seed, and green chilies. Cook until the ingredients begin to sputter.

onions cooking in oil or chana masala

STEP 2

Lower the heat to medium-low, and then add onion. Cook until the onions brown and caramelize. This step may take a while, and that’s okay. You are building flavor.

garlic and onions cooking in oil or chana masala

STEP 3

Next, add garlic and ginger, and stir to combine.

spiced added to chana masala

STEP 4

Combine chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala in a small bowl. Stir the spices into the mixture until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.

tomatoes added to chana masala

STEP 5

Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.

immersion blender blending the gravy for chana masala

STEP 6

Remove the green chilies and use an immersion blender to blend the masala until smooth. Alternatively, you can remove the mixture from heat and add it to a blender or food processor.

cilantro and chickpeas added to chana masala

STEP 7

Return the mixture to the pan, along with the reserved chilies. Then add the chickpeas, cilantro, 1/2 cup water, and bring it all to a simmer.

chana masala simmering on stove top

STEP 8

Sprinkle the dish with kalonji seeds and cover the pan with the lid slightly ajar. Lower the heat and maintain a gentle bubble. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until the mixture reduces.

STEP 9

Season chana masala with salt as needed, and garnish with cilantro.

Did you enjoy this chana masala recipe?

Try one of these favorites from the Jamil Ghar!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make chana masala in the Instant Pot?

  1. Warm ghee in an Instant Pot in saute mode. Add one teaspoon of kalonji seeds, cumin seed, and green chilies. Cook until the ingredients begin to sputter.
  2. Add onion and cook until the onions brown and caramelize.
  3. Next, add garlic and ginger, and stir to combine.
  4. Combine chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala in a small bowl. Stir the spices into the mixture until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the green chilies and use an immersion blender to blend the masala until smooth. Alternatively, you can remove the mixture from heat and add it to a blender or food proc
  7. Return the mixture to the Instant Pot, along with the reserved chilies. Then add the chickpeas, cilantro, 1/2 cup water, and bring it all to a simmer in saute mode.
  8. Sprinkle with kalonji seeds and secure the lid. Set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure, and cook for 10 minutes with a quick release.
  9. Taste and season with salt, and garnish with cilantro and more kalonji seeds.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

All you have to do to make this recipe vegan is to use a different oil in place of ghee; I suggest grapeseed oil.


What can I serve as a side?

Serve our piping hot chana masala with roti, naan, paratha, poori, chapati, or basmati rice. Chana also pairs nicely with a house or cucumber salad.


Can I freeze chana masala?

You sure can. First, allow the dish to cool, and add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Channa masala will freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight. To serve, warm it on the stovetop, and enjoy.

Recipe Rating




Samantha

Monday 11th of April 2022

I’m a picky eater and have never had this type of cultural dish before and it was amazing!! Thank you so much for introducing me to it! I will definitely be making it more often :)

Tressa - Jamil Ghar Team

Monday 11th of April 2022

I am so happy you were able to make and enjoy something new!

Calee Cortes

Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Literally so delicious! One of my favorites on here so far!

Tressa - Jamil Ghar Team

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Thanks for trying and loving this recipe, Calee!