Make Dry Chana Masala | Easy Chickpea Curry

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Best Chana Masala Recipe Easy And Quick

Incredibly tasty, Punjabi Chana masala curry hails from north India; made with soft and tender white chickpeas, accompanied by fresh herbs, onion tomato, and seasoned with freshly powdered spice—easy to whip up within 30 minutes. Served with rice, roti, poori, raita, etc.

What is Chana Masala?

Chickpea Masala, a globally beloved dish, goes by various names in different regions of the world. These include Chole Masala, Chholay Masala, and Chana Masala. The term ‘Chana’ originates from Hindi and Urdu languages, translating to ‘Chickpeas’ in English. Whereas Masala means “a blend of spices’ used in different curries.

Authentic masala chana recipe origin belongs to Punjab, North India and there are several ways to cook, around the world. This flavorful curry dish is rich in texture and nutrition. This one-pot dish gives comfort and joy to eat.

easy chana masala curry

To make it, you primarily need pre-soaked chickpeas, fresh earthy herbs, a good-for-you blend of mixed spices. Garnish with cilantro and julienne ginger. If you love to eat this vegan homemade chana then you would also try out Chana Dal, Dal Tadka, Dal Mash Recipes

Key Ingredients

Chana Masala Ingredients

  • Chickpeas: Dried white chickpeas are a main component of this recipe. While I typically utilize dried chickpeas. Prior to use, ensure to thoroughly wash and soak them for a minimum of 10 hours or overnight. Canned chickpeas are also a viable option, Skip boiling in case of canned chickpea.
  • Red onion: Use red, for the base of this curry, we need chopped or sliced onion. For chopping firstly peel the onion and chop it. You can also use yellow onion instead of red onion.
  • Ginger and Garlic: One inch piece of ginger and 6 to 8 pieces of cloves. Kindly, peel them and chop them, you can also grate them. Alternatively, you can use a ginger garlic paste.
  • Tomatoes: Freshly ripped tomato gives the best taste to sauce. Properly rinse them and chop them for later use. You can also use canned tomato puree. I observed that most of the folks in the USA and the Uk, use tomato puree to save time. But in My opinion, the best taste only comes with fresh tomatoes.
  • Oil: To make the masala, I always prefer vegetable oil. But you go with any other type of neutral-flavored oil or mustard oil.
  • Whole Spices: To make this curry more flavorful, Whole spices are vital. cumin seeds, bay leaves, coriander seeds, or dried red chilies. substitute it with chana masala spice mix.
  • Powdered Spices: These include salt turmeric, red chili, turmeric, cumin, and coriander powder. Magic of garam masala will double the flavor.
  • Green Chilies:  If you want to add depth and heat, chop them or skip them. Avoid them if you are making for the kids. 
  • Lemon Juice: To add original tanginess I will use lemon juice or replace it with amchur powder.
  • Cilantro and Kasuri Methi: To enhance the final appealing look and aromatic flavor. I use chopped cilantro and well-crushed kasuri.

How to Make Quick Chana Masala (step by step Guide)

We will cook this comfort food in traditional method. Recipe starts by soaking, rinsing and boiling chickpeas/dried chana and followed by creating a sauce gravy in which I will cook chana – Chickpeas.

Soak the Chickpea – First of all, choose fine-quality dried chana or Chickpeas. Under running water, thoroughly rinse them three to four times. Add 3 cups of water if you are cooking 1 cup of chickpeas and soak them for 10 hours at least or overnight.

wdd water in the pressure cooker

Boil the Chickpeas – After Soaking, wash them in fresh water and boil them in a pressure cooker for 5 to 6 whistles or until tender or soft. If you use Instant Pot, Boil them on high pressure for 15 to 18 minutes. These should be soft and mushy. If not, boil them properly for best texture.

boil the chana

Add oil, Whole Spices – Start cooking restaurant-style dry chana curry by heating some oil in a large pan or skillet. As the oil becomes slightly hot, add whole spices, and let them sizzle for a few seconds, (4o -50 seconds.)  

heat whole spices

Add Onion – After adding whole spices, incorporate the chopped onion till translucent on medium heat.

saute onions

Combine Ginger Garlic – Now, I will combine the minced ginger and garlic and let it cook with onion. Stir them to avoid burning. If it starts sticking on the pan, include some water and cook it. Also try to reduce heat.

add ginger garlic paste

Include Tomatoes – Introduce the chopped tomato/tomato puree. In my case, I am using homemade tomato puree. Cook them until dissolved add green chilies as well as.

add tomato puree

Introduce Ground Spices – To make aromatic gravy, add powdered spices: garam masala, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin, and coriander powder. Stir them well with gravy until spices start to produce aroma or oil rises on the gravy surface. About 2 to 3 minutes.

Tip: If you don’t like chunky gravy, then blend the masala into a blander after cooling down and blend it into a smooth paste.

add spices

Add boiled Chickpeas – Now combine the chole or chickpeas with gravy and stir them well. The original taste of authentic chickpea curry comes from mixing them before adding water. This stirring (bunai) allows the ingredients to absorb the flavor nicely.

add chickpeas

Add Water – Add water or chana stock (water in which we boiled the chana) after bunai, according to your serving preference. If you serve this curry with rice, add more water; if you choose to eat it with roti, don’t make it too liquidly. On medium low heat, let them simmer in a pan with a lid cover for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir occasionally to skip burning. 

add broth or water

Garnish with Coriander and Kasuri Methi – After swimming, slow down the heat if the consistency is thick or according to your choice. And garnish with Kasuri Methi and coriander leaves.

chana masala recipe by mrecipezone

How to make Smooth and thick gravy like Punjabi Chole?

If you want to make smoother gravy, commonly, available in the food street carts in Pakistan and India. Please take 2 tablespoons of boiled chickpeas or from your cooked chickpea masala and let them cool down first then blend it in the blender machine.

blend chickpeas

These chickpeas puree will work as thickening agents. Now add this chana paste into pan and mix it well and let it simmer on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, Also give a taste test and adjust the salt lever and also ad 2 pinch of black pepper powder or according to your taste.

add to masala

I hope this secret and professional tip will help you a lot. Garnish it and serve Hot.

chana masala

How to Make Chickpea Curry in Instant Pot

  • Begins the instant pot recipe by soaking raw dried chickpeas. (For more details, follow the guidelines above.) Drain and wash them.
  • Now, Boil the chickpeas in an instant pot with water for 20 minutes on high pressure and wait until the pressure is released naturally.
  • Turn on saute mode. Saute the whole spices, onion, ginger, garlic, and chopped ripped tomatoes, followed by powdered spices.
  • stir them well.
  • Now it’s time to add boiled chanas with water. Cover the pot with a mirrored lid and let them simmer for rich flavored best instant pot chana masala recipe. (About 3 to 4 minutes)
  • Add some kasuri methi and coriander leaves in the gravy and mix with ladle. Also sprinkle some on the top of chana masala gravy.
  • Serve it hot, as a main course or a side dish.

You can also use canned Chickpeas specially in busy days . However, draining and washing need special attention. They are already boiled; just mix them with gravy sauce and simmer until tender and aromatic.

Serving Suggestion For Chickpeas Masala

  • Rice: Chickpeas Masala goes well with any type of cooked rice: White rice, fried rice, pulao, brown rice, etc. Masala of chana keeps the taste balanced.
  • Breads: Pakistanis love to have it with naan for breakfast. This traditional curry is perfect for scooping up with warm roti, mint naan, Phulka, paratha, poori, or bhatura.
  • Raita & Salads: Cold mint raita and kachumber salad give a fresh, crisp, and nice contrast to the delicious Chole Masala.
  • Pickles: Garnish it with coriander leaves or add lemon widgets and enjoy with tangy pickles.

Expert Tips

  1. High Quality Chickpeas: Use medium size, raw-dried chana. Make sure it is fresh, not too aged.
  2. Soaking Chickpeas: Soaking gives the perfect tenderness and texture. My recommended soaking time is 8 to 10 minutes. In case of old/aged chana you can use half teaspoon of BAKING SODA to make them tender.
  3. Canned Chickpeas: Use preboiled canned chickpeas for quick meals, but remember to drain and rinse them before cooking. Don’t boil them.
  4. Boiling Chickpeas: To speed up the cooking process, my professional handy tip is to boil the chole first. Boiling gives an even cooking and soft chickpeas quickly.
  5. Chana Spice Mix Powder: utilize chana masala powder to enhance the flavor. Buy it from a store or make it at home by toasting and grinding spices.
  6. Mash Some Chickpeas: you failed to achieve the creamier and thicker gravy sauce for chickpea masala? Just try to mash some chickpeas with a spoon or blend two tablespoons of chickpeas with ground blend. This gives the natural starch to thicken the gravy.
  7. Simmer the chana with gravy: Please give sometime to chickpeas and let them simmer on low heat with gravy. This simmer will give you an even bold taste to each bite

Troubleshooting Tips

For the most common problems encountered while making this Indian dry chole masala, here are their solutions.

IssueSolution
Chickpeas Are HardSoak overnight, use a pressure cooker.
Gravy Too ThinSimmer uncovered to thicken.
Gravy Too ThickAdd water or broth to thin.
Lacks FlavorToast spices, adjust salt, add lemon juice or amchur.
Too SpicyAdd yogurt or coconut milk to cool down.

authentic easy chana masala

To thicken gravy like in Pakistani and Indian food street carts, blend 2-3 tablespoons of boiled chickpeas into a puree, then add it to your pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, garnish, and serve hot.

Canned Chickpeas

  • Canned Chickpeas can be used for quick meal preparation. Best Ideal choice for busy days when you need quick heathy meal. It saves both time and effort. As compare to dry chickpeas, canned chickpeas are pre-cooked and ready to use. So, it reduces the cooking time significantly.
  • Tips for Using Canned Chickpeas: Let me tell you first, taste of the canned chickpeas is not as good as dried chickpeas. Whenever you use these canned chana, please try to drain them properly and then rinse them under running water. This step will help us to remove any excess salt or preservatives. Now you can add into the gravy.
  • Canned Chickpeas Brands: Some of the best brands for canned chickpeas include Goya, Eden Organic, Bush’s Best, and S&W. I mostly use Goya and American Garden brands for urgent room services order in my hotel.

Me and Chana Masala Recipe

Actually, I was inspired by this recipe from the famous breakfast point JAEEDA CHANA Wala during my trip to Lahore. Mr. Jaeeda and his team sell about 500 kgs of cooked chickpeas daily, with additional toppings like Chicken kofta, ANDA (egg), Desi chicken Pieces and kulcha (naan). His amazing taste inspired me to try making it myself.

Although this recipe is inspired by JAEEDA Chanay , it is not the same as typical lahore chana curry. It’s a unique fusion of Pakistani and Punjabi (Indian) flavors. I hope you will be apricated when you cook in same way as described.

I was fond of cooking since my childhood. My grandmother taught me many recipes, and my mother improvised on them. My experience working in hotels made me perfect for cook. This spiced chickpeas dish is one of my favorite recipes. It is the most requested dish (same like jaeeda Lahori chanay) on busy weekends. I did many experiments after many failed attempts, and now, everyone loves to eat my authentic Indian dry chole recipe.

Variations

Here are some more variations for you in the following variations you can also add vegetable with chana. Please also try them.

  • Amritsari Chole – Chickpeas made in a Tangy Tomato Sauce with special spices
  • Chickpea Pulao or Biryani – Layered Rice and Chickpea Dish
  • Chole Bhature – Spicy Chickpeas Curry with Fried Poori
  • Aloo Chole – Chickpeas cooked with tender Potatoes Curry
  • Pindi Chana – Spiced Chickpeas with Lady Fingers
  • Rajma Chana – Red Kidney Beans and Chickpeas Curry
  • Chana Saag (Chickpeas with Spinach)
  • Chana Chicken – chicken is simmered with chana.

Frequently Asked Question

What Is Chana Masala?

It is a savory curry belongs to Punjabi, Indian cuisine. Made with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, herbs and a blend of spice mix. It is typically served with rice or poori.

How to Make Homemade Punjabi masala chana dry?

Saute whole spices, herbs, and onion in oil. Stir fry the tomato. As water separates from the tomato, add pre-soaked boiled chickpeas and simmer it with water and gravy: garnish with climate and kasuri methi.

Is the chana/chickpea curry is good for health?

Chana contains a good source of protein and fiber, essential nutrients for the human body. While spice mix help to support our heart health by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Overall, its recommended curry for good health.

What is the difference between chole masala and chana curry?

Both are similar North Indian dishes. Chole Masala is Punjabi term, typically uses a darker chana spice blend, resulting in a tangier flavor. Whereas, dry chole recipe often has a slightly lighter flavor, tomato-based sauce with a well-balanced spice profile.

Is it possible to prepare chole using canned chickpeas?

Yes, easy and quick, best suitable for busy days. However, draining and washing need special attention. They are already boiled; just mix them with gravy sauce and simmer until tender and aromatic. Punjabi Chole made from raw chickpeas have much better texture.

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this detailed tangy chana masala recipe. I have explained each step in detail for you. Just follow them and give it a try. Let me know how it turns out, and don’t forget to follow me on social media.

Best Chana Masala Recipe

Spiced Chickpeas curry hails from north India; made with soft and tender white chickpeas. Easy to whip up within 30 minutes.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time28 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: chana masala recipe pakistani
Servings: 4 serving
Calories: 340kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pan for soaking chickpeas
  • 1 Pressure Cooker
  • 1 Deep Pan

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Chick Pea ( 1 tin 400 chick peas)
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 2 Medium Onion
  • 3 Medium Tomatoes (puree)
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
  • 3-4 Pieces Green Chilies
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Coriander leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Kasuri Methi
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt or According to your Taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Oil

Whole Spices

  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • 6-8 pieces Black Pepper Corn
  • 2 pieces Bay leaves
  • 2-3 Piece Green Cardamoms

Instructions

  • Soak the Chickpea – First of all, choose fine-quality dried chana or Chickpeas. Under running water, thoroughly rinse them three to four times. Add 3 cups of water if you are cooking 1 cup of chickpeas and soak them for 10 hours at least or overnight.
    wdd water in the pressure cooker
  • Boil the Chickpeas – After Soaking, wash them in fresh water and boil them in a pressure cooker for 5 to 6 whistles or until tender or soft. If you use Instant Pot, Boil them on high pressure for 15 to 18 minutes. These should be soft and mushy. If not, boil them properly for best texture.
    boil the chana
  • Add oil, Whole Spices – Start cooking by heating some oil in a large pan or skillet. As the oil becomes slightly hot, add whole spices, and let them sizzle for a few seconds, (4o -50 seconds.)
    heat whole spices
  • Add Onion – After adding whole spices, incorporate the chopped onion till translucent on medium heat.
    saute onions
  • Combine Ginger Garlic – Now, I will combine the minced ginger and garlic and let it cook with onion. Stir them to avoid burning. If it starts sticking on the pan, include some water and cook it. Also try to reduce heat.
    add ginger garlic paste
  • Include Tomatoes – Introduce the chopped tomato/tomato puree. In my case, I am using homemade tomato puree. Cook them until dissolved add green chilies as well as.
    add tomato puree
  • Introduce Ground Spices – To make aromatic gravy, add powdered spices: garam masala, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin, and coriander powder. Stir them well with gravy until spices start to produce aroma or oil rises on the gravy surface. About 2 to 3 minutes.
    add spices
  • Add boiled Chickpeas – Now combine the chole or chickpeas with gravy and stir them well. The original taste of authentic dry chana curry comes from mixing them before adding water. This stirring (bunai) allows the ingredients to absorb the flavor nicely.
    add chickpeas
  • Add Water – Add water or chana broth (water in which we boiled the chana) after bunai, according to your serving preference. If you serve this curry with rice, add more water; if you choose to eat it with roti, don’t make it too liquidly. On medium low heat, let them simmer in a pan with a lid cover for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir occasionally to skip burning.
    add broth or water
  • Garnish with Coriander and Kasuri Methi – After swimming, slow down the heat if the consistency is thick or according to your choice. And garnish with Kasuri Methi and coriander leaves.
    chana masala recipe by mrecipezone

How to make Smooth and thick gravy of Punjabi Chole

  • If you want to make smoother gravy, commonly, available in the food street carts in Pakistan and India. Please take 2-3 tablespoons of boiled chickpeas or from your cooked chana and let them cool down first then blend it in the blender machine.
    blend chickpeas
  • These chickpeas puree will work as thickening agents. Now add this chana paste into pan and mix it well and let it simmer on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, Also give a taste test and adjust the salt lever and also ad 2 pinch of black pepper powder or according to your taste.
    add to masala
  • I hope this secret and professional tip will help you a lot. Garnish it and serve Hot.
    chana masala

Notes

  1. High Quality Chickpeas: Use medium size, raw-dried chana. Make sure it is fresh, not too aged.
  2. Soaking Chickpeas: Soaking gives the perfect tenderness and texture. My recommended soaking time is 8 to 10 minutes. In case of old/aged chana you can use half teaspoon of BAKING SODA to make them tender.
  3. Canned Chickpeas: Use preboiled canned chickpeas for quick meals, but remember to drain and rinse them before cooking. Don’t boil them.
  4. Boiling Chickpeas: To speed up the cooking process, my professional handy tip is to boil the chole first. Boiling gives an even cooking and soft chickpeas quickly.
  5. Premade Spice Mix Powder: utilize chana masala spice blend to enhance the flavor. Buy it from a store or make it at home by toasting and grinding spices.
  6. Mash Some Chickpeas: you failed to achieve the creamier and thicker gravy sauce for chickpea masala? Just try to mash some chickpeas with a spoon or blend two tablespoons of chickpeas with ground blend. This gives the natural starch to thicken the gravy.
  7. Simmer the chana with gravy: Please give sometime to chickpeas and let them simmer on low heat with gravy. This simmer will give you an even bold taste to each bite
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