Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Chana Masala

 Published 2007-Dec-14   Updated 2018-Oct-27

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Punjabi Chole, Chikpea Curry, Kadala Curry, Konda Kadalai Kulambu)

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Channa Masala is also known by different names like Punjabi Chole or Channay. It is popular thtoughout North India and even in Pakistan. Nowadays even South Indians and foreigners make this often. The protein rich chickpeas is cooked in a sour tomato based gravy with a blend of spices. Together it makes a delicious side-dish. Even the mention of the name Chole makes one salivate. 

This is one of the first recipes that I learnt to cook after marriage. One of my collegues used to share simple ways of making tasty dishes those days and this Chole is one of them. It may be slightly different from the traditional way the North Indians make but I assure you that it tastes delicious. Even till today, I make this once a week with either chapathi or puri. Along with Batura, it makes a awesome combination known as Chole Bature. This is known as Chola Puri in the South. So here is the recipe.

Recipe for Channa Masala

Preparation time: 20 minutes (and 6 hours of soaking time)
Cooking time: 40
Serves: 6


  • Chikpeas (channa) - 2 cups
  • Onions - 1 large (roughly chopped)
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium (pureed)
  • Garlic - 6 cloves
  • Ginger - 1" piece
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Whole Garam Masala - (bay leaf - 1, cinnamon sticks – 2, Black Cradamom - 1, Cloves - 2)
  • Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp (or to taste)
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Kasoori Methi - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Amchur Powder (dry mango powder) – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Chopped cilantro, Slit Green Chili and Ginger slices - for garnish


  1. Wash and soak the chik peas for 5-6 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the soaking water. Pressure cook the chikpeas until they are tender (app. 4 cooker whistles). Overcooking will make it mushy.
  3. Take roughly chopped onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes in a mixie jar. Blend it to a smooth puree.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai or pan over medium heat. Temper with cumin seeds, bay leaf, black cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. 
  5. Add the puree and cook it for about 5 minutes. Oil should separate from the masala.
  6. Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, kasoori methi, amchur powder, turmeric powder and salt. Saute for couple of minutes.
  7. Now add the cooked chik peas along with the cooking water and let it simmer for 7 minutes.
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro, slit green chili and ginger slices. Serve with chappattis or puri.

Detailed Steps to make Channa Masala

Wash and soak the chikpeas for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. The beans will double in size after soaking.

Channa Masala Steps Channa Masala Steps

Drain the soaking water and take the plumped up chickpeas in a pressure cooker. A tea bag can be added along to give deep colour to the cooked chickpeas. Cook for 4 whistles and switch off.

Channa Masala Steps Channa Masala Steps

Roughly chop the onions and tomatoes. Peel the ginger and garlic.

Channa Masala Steps

Take these in a mixie jar and blend it to a smooth puree.

Channa Masala Steps Channa Masala Steps

Heat oil in a kadai and temper with cumin seeds, bay leaf, cloves, black cardamom and cinnamon. 

Channa Masala Steps

After about 30 seconds add the puree to the hot oil.

Channa Masala Steps

Cover and cook for 5 minutes till oil separates from the masala.

Channa Masala Steps

Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, kasoori methi, amchur powder, turmeric powder and salt. Saute until a thick paste is formed.

Channa Masala Steps

Now add the chik peas along with the water in which it was cooked and let it simmer for 7 minutes. 

Channa Masala Steps

Garnish with finely chopped cilantro, sliced green chili and sliced ginger. 

Channa Masala Steps


  • A tbsp of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of chaat masala can be added at the end to enhance the flavour.
  • Store bought channa masala can be added instead of the dry ingrediants which will be equally flavourful.
  • Tea bag gives a nice dark colour to the channa masala. It can be skipped too.

Serving Channa Masala

  • This Channa Masala tastes great with all roti varieties like chapathi, puri, naan, rumali roti kulcha etc. It also goes well with pulao varieties.
  • Along with the huge puris known as Batura, it is a perfect combo. This is known as Chole Bature or Chola Puri.
  • This can be served as an evening snack topped with some chopped onions and sev.

More Chickpea Recipes

Kadala Curry Kadala Curry Channa Pasta Channa Pasta Channa Chaat Channa Chaat Chana Biriyani Chana Biriyani
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (11)

Person   ()
Can i use green peas instead of chik peas in this recipe
Person   ()
It won't be as tasty as white chickpeas. Channa itself means chickpeas.
To answer your question, yes you can use green peas. The taste of the final product will be different though.
Person   ()
Hi Dahlia. Can I use a regular sauce pan instead of a pressure cooker? Thanks
Person   ()
Yes you can. It will take about 45 minutes for the chickpeas to cook.
Person   ()
I'm from Maldives yet I love Indian food! It is hard to get all those ingredients mentioned above, so I had to make it with limited ingredients. I made it with tomato paste , onions , curry leaves & garam masaala along with some Maldivian spices , it was Delicious & everybody at home loved it! :)
Person   ()
Thats good Sama. Do share the maldivian spices that you added. It may be helpful to someone...
Person   ()
its sooooooo good and tasty
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
Person   ()
Person   ()
Thank You.

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Old Comments

Comment by Namagiri Sridhar
    Need some recipes with spaghetti pasta.
Reply :-
    You can try any of these pasta recipes with spaghetti.

Comment by sandhya venkat

Reply :-
    Thank You.

Comment by Charles G
    Absolutly Fantastic!
Reply :-
    Thank You.

Comment by  meera kanmani
    i tried this recipe.n its really diff n too good
Reply :-
    Thanks for trying the recipe Meera and nice to know that you liked it.

Comment by  Vidya Jayakumar on 25 April 2010 20:03PM          
    Excellent recipe. Turned out well.
Reply :-
    Thanks Vidhya!!

Comment by  prem kumar on 15 January 2010 04:12AM          
    this is chef ple send me the spl dishes .
Reply :-
    Hi Prem,  I dint get you....

Comment by Lolita Catibog on 29 May 2009 14:54PM   
    Thanks for this recipe, I'll try this.. I need to learn how to cook Indian recipes so to satisfy my husband's appetite. =)
Reply :-
    sure lolitha. do try this. its an all time favorite for most indians.

Comment by niranchini sree on 05 March 2009 16:20PM
    yummy n delicious
Reply :-
    Thanks Niranchini

Comment by Jiji on 15 September 2008 07:10AM
    it is soooooooooooooooo good and tasty that i often make it
it good with chhappathi puri
Reply :-
    Thanks Jiji. Do try the other recipes too.

Comment by Nisha on 14 January 2008 03:20AM
    Nice Recipe
Very nice recipe. I tried this and it came out really yummy.
Reply :-
    Thanks Nisha

 Published by on and last updated on 2018-10-27.