Chana masala is a vegetarian Indian dish made with chickpeas cooked in tomato onion gravy. This recipe is easy to make, it’s healthy and delicious. After my mother-in-law taught me how to make chana masala, it became one of my favorite weeknight meals.
“Chana” means chickpeas in Hindi, so chickpeas are the main ingredient in this dish. You can either use canned chickpeas or dry chickpeas. I prefer to use dry chickpeas because I feel they taste much better than canned chickpeas. I just soak dry chickpeas overnight in water and cook them the next day in a pressure cooker. It adds some extra cooking time, so you can also use canned chickpeas if you are short on time. However, if you are interested in Indian cooking, the pressure cooker is something to invest to, as it saves a lot of time and effort when cooking beans and legumes that are widely used in Indian recipes.
Chana masala can be served with rice, quinoa or some other grain of your choice. It also tastes great with naan, roti or paratha. like to serve chana masala with some simple salad and/or yogurt to make it a more wholesome meal.
– I usually use store-bought chana masala spices mix. You should be able to find it in any Indian store, but if you can’t, you can just use garam masala instead. You can also skip cumin and coriander powder if you don’t have them and experiment by adding other spices.
– For the gravy, I like to chop onions and blend tomatoes. This way the gravy turns out more chunky which I like. But if you prefer a smoother texture, you can use a blender to blend everything into a smooth paste before adding spices and chickpeas.
– If you add too much water and the gravy turns out not thick enough at the end, you can adjust the consistency by smashing some chickpeas with a spoon or give it a few pulses with an immersion blender. This will help to thicken the gravy.
- 1 cup of dry chickpeas, soaked in plain water for 8-10 hours and cooked or canned chickpeas
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 blended tomatoes
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste or 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic and 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
- Spices: 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera), 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander powder(optional), 1 tsp cumin powder(optional), 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or as per taste), 1 tsp chana masala or garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- coriander leaves to garnish
- 2 tsp cooking oil
How to make Chana Masala
- Heat oil in a large pot, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
- Add chopped onions and saute until they become translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 1 more minute.
- Blend tomatoes and add them to onions, sprinkle some salt and saute until tomatoes cook completely and the extra liquid goes away.
- Lower the heat and add spices: turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander & cumin powder, garam masala powder or chana masala powder. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add cooked/canned chickpeas and water as needed. Adjust water according to your preference.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 -10 mins. Check the taste and add more salt/spices if needed.
- In the end, add chopped coriander leaves.