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Chana masala with pooris
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5 from 16 votes

Chana Masala Recipe

Chana masala (also called chole masala) is a spicy north Indian dish of chickpeas in a tomato onion gravy that is best eaten with a naan, roti or rice. This delicious, restaurant-style recipe comes together in under 30 minutes. It is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and it can be oil-free.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Curry
Cuisine: gluten-free, Indian, nut-free, Soy-free, Vegan
Diet: Hindu, Low Salt, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Chana Masala
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 126kcal


  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (to make this without oil, use 2 tbsp vegetable stock)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 black cardamom pods (these have a rich flavor so start by using 1, if you wish, the first time you make this recipe)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)
  • 3 medium tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chana masala powder
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. As they begin to darken, which should take no more than a few seconds, add the black cardamom pods and bay leaf. Saute a few seconds, then add the onions.
    If making this oil free, roast the cumin seeds, cardamom and bay leaf in a dry pan. Then add the water and proceed to step 2.
  • Add some salt and saute the onions over medium heat until they start to get brown spots. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the tomato puree and mix in. Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, if using, and paprika. Mix well.
  • Stir in and let the tomatoes cook for about five minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the tomatoes are darker
  • Add the chickpeas. Stir in, then add about a cup of water. The chana masala should be quite thick. If you want to thin it out, wait until after the next step.
  • Bring the chana masala to a boil, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir a couple of times in between to make sure there's enough liquid in the pot.
  • Next mash some of the chickpeas with the back of the ladle. This will also help the sauce thicken. Add more water at this stage if you want to thin out the chana masala a bit more.
  • Stir in the chana masala powder. Add salt if needed. Stir in cilantro.
  • Serve hot.



Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 752IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg