Chana Masala/ Chole

Chaana Masala is one of our family favorite and I make this at least once a week. It is not only healthy and nutritious but also easy to prepare.

Now that I have few years of cooking experience I can now proclaim that it is easy to prepare. This was not the case earlier and I used to stay from such recipes thinking that they were way too complicated. I distinctly remember how I learnt this recipe.

It was about a year and half after my marriage and that was about the equivalent amount of solo cooking experience I had. My cousin was visiting us for a few days and was on her way to Georgia to pursue her dental studies. She is about 6 years younger to me and I treat her like my baby sister. I tried to impress on her what ever half baked cooking I knew, never realizing all the time that she knew much more cooking than me.

Now we had some more family come over and I was stuck wondering what to cook. She came to the rescue and surprised all of us by making Vegetable pulav, Chana Masala and a salad. Needles to say I was astound but also learnt the recipe from her. I have been making it ever since.

Channa masala (also known as chole) is a North Indian/Punjabi dish which consists of chickpeas./Garbanzo Beans. It is fairly dry and spicy with a sour taste and pairs well with Rotis/ Phulkas, Baturas or even Rice. This tastes good when it is cooked ahead of time at least 4-5 hours or even more before serving. This gives enough time for the spices to blend together.


  • 1 cup chickpeas/ garbanzo beans(dry or canned)
  • ¾ cup chopped onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes / 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2-3 broken cinnamon sticks
  • chilli powder as ( per taste)
  • 2-3 tsp chole masala (any brand)
  •  2-3 garlic pods (grated)
  •  1 inch ginger (grated)
  • Handful of chopped coriander for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil




  • Puree the tomatoes in a blender and keep aside (skip this if using tomato paste). Grate the ginger and garlic and keep aside.
  •  If using the dry variety, make sure to soak the beans overnight or for about 8-10 hours in enough water.
  •  Pressure cook the beans using sufficient water. Keep aside.
  • Take a heavy bottom pan, add the oil. Next add the ginger and garlic and sauté until the garlic turns light brown.
  • Add the cloves and cinnamon and stir for a while. Now add the onions and stir until it turns transparent.
  • Add the tomato puree/tomato paste, salt and cook until the raw smell of tomato is gone. Add more oil at this time.
  • Add chilli powder, chana masala powder, and mix well. Add more oil at this time if dry.
  • Add the cooked beans along with the water and continue to cook covered. Simmer for a while until the gravy blends with the beans.

Finally garnish with coriander leaves before serving. Do not forget to serve some chopped raw onions and slice of lemon. Yumm!

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  1. madhu says:

    One of our fav too, each of us have our own version, like yours RC. I need to try this with cinnamon and clove, for little different Flavour. Very tempting Pics.

  2. Malar Gandhi says:

    Who doesnt like Chole’….my all time fav’ North Indian dish. Enjoy great time with Chola Poori. If it is raining…this will be my tiffin.

    Buddy, I like those veg-patties, besan ka kofta…all ur recipes are inviting, awesome pictures…luv it. Will visit u more often.

  3. Madhuram says:

    RC I made this yesterday with one twist. Inspired by the Sneaky Chef, I was going to prepare Mac and Cheese for my son using white bean (cannellini) puree (simply blended the beans in my Magic Bullet with little water). So I had around 1/2 cup excess pureee, so I added it to the boiling channa masala. The channa was nice and creamy and it did not taste different. Another important thing my son ate the Mac and cheese and was asking for more. But I’m not sure if he would it another day!

  4. Pingback: Methi Paneer Chole
  5. kajal vishwakarma says:

    i think that chana masala is the best recipe of this world…….

    i love you chana masala…………….

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