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Chana masala in a copper bowl from the front.
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5 from 2 votes

chana masala

Chana masala is a great vegetarian meal or side for any Indian meal. The curry leaves are optional but add a nice South Indian touch. Don't skimp on the oil for this recipe. You need it to fry the spices.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: side
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chana masala, indian chickpea curry
Servings: 6 as a side dish
Calories: 280kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


To make the chana masala

  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions minced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 2 green chilies minced
  • 15 fresh curry leaves - optional
  • 2 tsp restaurant spice mix or curry powder of your choice - recipe link below
  • 1 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder or 1/4 tsp cayenne mixed with 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes or better yet 4-5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 19 oz cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro leaves and stems minced
  • 1 tsp salt to taste

To finish the chana masala

  • 2 Tbsp cilantro leaves minced
  • 1/4 lemon juiced
  • pinch of garam masala optional


  • Heat the oil in a sauce pan large enough to hold all the ingredients.
  • Add the oil and fry the minced onions until flecks of brown start to appear. This can take 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the garlic ginger paste, green chili, curry leaves if using them and indian spice mix, salt, chili powder and cumin.  Cook about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the spices.
  • Add the tomatoes and simmer about 10 minutes.
  • Mix in the chickpeas and enough water or stock to keep the mixture loose.
  • Simmer about 20 minutes, adding water or stock as needed.
  • Add the cilantro, lemon juice and garam masala and simmer 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust for salt.


The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix is here.
The recipe for garlic ginger paste is here.
If you don't want to mix up a batch of restaurant spice mix substitute 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric and an additional 3/4 tsp cumin powder.


Serving: 6servings | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 515mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 65.3mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 4.2mg