Chana Masala

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“Chana Masala” or “Choley” a dish made of chickpeas, onions, tomatoes and delicious Indian spices has become quite popular everywhere!

Chana or chole or chickpeas are widely consumed in India and Pakistan and so is this delicious curry! Chana Masala is usually served with Bhature (fermented fried flatbread) or Naan. I reckon there is hardly any Indian restaurant where you wouldn’t get this dish!

Chana Masala variations and every version are delicious!

The taste, the style of cooking and the spices can be different in different regions and it is always quite delicious. The recipe I am sharing today is the one I have improvised and I learnt it from my mum. My mum would make a delectable Chana Masala and Poori on special occasions and it was appreciated by everyone. Her cooking style was different than a North Indian one where this dish comes from but it was just as good.

Try my version of Chana Masala with easily available ingredients.

Over the years I have developed my own recipe for this dish adding some special ingredients like mustard oil, dried pomegranate powder and passata. Also when I make this recipe I take my time, I fry the ingredients for a long time to get that beautiful flavour and colour so be patient and try it.

A pro tip: I like to use Everest Choley Masala for this Chana Masala recipe but if you can use your choice masala. You can also use homemade garam masala with 1 tsp dry mango powder to give that tang to the recipe.

We love this Chana Masala with Parathas or Roti or just a simple rice and I am sure you will love it too!

If you like curries do check these recipes out:

Kala Chana in Yoghurt Gravy

Dal Makhni 

Mushroom Matar

So this is how you make this Chana Masala!

Chana Masala
Chana Masala

Ingredients for the curry:

  • 2 medium banana shallots finely chopped
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 small tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 cup pasata or heinz tomato sauce can
  • 3 small boiled potatoes cut in half
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder or paprika
  • 1 tsp or taste red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp chana masala or garam masala
  • 1 tsp pomegranate powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bay leaf, 2 cardamom pods, 1 clove
  • 2.5 tbsp mustard oil
  • Coriander for garnishing

Ingredients for chickpeas:

  • 2 cups or 360g dried chickpeas (1 cup 200ml)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf, few cloves, cardamom pods wrapped in a cheesecloth


Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours to 14 hours, change the water once in between. Drain the chickpeas and wash it well.


Add all the ingredients in an instant pot with 5-6 cups of water, use chilli, beans mode and cook for 23 minutes. You can boil these in a heavy saucepan for 1 hour or till they are tender. You can also cook them in a pressure cooker, use the same water measurement, bring the pressure to high, reduce the flame and cook for 15 minutes on low flame. Let the pressure drop automatically and then open the cooker.

For curry:

Heat mustard oil, add in the whole spices mentioned above. Add in the onion and shallots together with ½ tsp sugar, a big pinch of salt. Continue to fry for 5-7 minutes on medium flame in a heavy bottom. Add in the ginger, garlic paste continue to fry for another 5 minutes or longer till the raw smell disappears and the onions are fried.

Add in all the spice powders except chana masala or garam masala. Add in both the tomatoes and continue to cook for next 10 minutes or till you see the oil floating on the top. While all this is happening brown the potatoes in 1 tsp of ghee or oil if you want to keep it vegan.

After the tomatoes are cooked add in the boiled, drained chickpeas. Mix well, mash ¼ pan with potato masher. Add in about 1 cup of water less if you like your gravy thick. Add in the potatoes, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in the chana masala or garam masala (if you are using garam masala add in 1 tsp dry mango powder) continue to cook for 5-7 minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with rotis, parathas or whatever you fancy!

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