Global Veg » A Culinary Journal

Chana Masala


A couple of weeks ago, I posted a Palak Paneer recipe from the dinner party that my 12 year old and his friends hosted (and cooked for) at our house.

As promised here is another main course from the party- Chana Masala.

I thought about recooking it and taking better pictures, but Chana Masala is a pretty common and simple dish.  It does not need to be too dressed up. It’s more about the flavor than the looks.  The kids, who not only cooked but were responsible for the presentation of the food, thought my favorite red Le Creuset dutch oven in which they cooked the Chana Masala was attractive enough to serve it too. So, here it is in all its un-photoshopped glory.

Almost every Indian restaurant in this country has Chana Masala on its menu. There are many variations of it. As with all Indian food, there is no single right way to make it.

Serving suggestions-

1- Traditional: serve with rice and naan.

2- Fusion: Similar to my Pasta e Ceci recipe, add about 8 ounces of small tubular pasta (ditalini) to the Chana Masala and serve.

3- Indian twist: Serve over my Crispy Potato Patties (without the pomegranate & yogurt & cilantro chutney).

Give  it a try. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Remember, this recipe was easy enough for 12 year olds to make.


Chana Masala

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings


  1. 2 tablespoons oil (olive oil or peanut oil works fine)
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  3. 1 small onion, diced finely
  4. 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped finely
  5. 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  6. 2 large tomatoes, diced finely
  7. 1 cup tomato puree
  8. 3 to 4 cups cooked chickpeas
  9. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 1 teaspoon garam masala
  11. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  12. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  13. 1/4 teaspoon ground chile powder (cayenne)- adjust to taste
  14. 1 teaspoon salt (adjust as needed)
  15. cilantro for garnish


  1. Before you start cooking get all the ingredients prepped. Dice/chop the vegetables and herbs. There are a lot of spices used. Combine the turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin powder, cayenne, salt in a small cup and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in heavy saucepan or wok on medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds.
  4. When cumin seeds start browning (after a minute or so), add the chopped onions.
  5. When the onions turn golden, add the garlic and ginger.
  6. Sauté for a minute then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes start getting mushy (3-5 minutes). Add the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the remaining spices (spice blend you combined and set aside earlier).
  8. Mix well.
  9. Add the chickpeas and mix. Add water as necessary to make a saucy dish- around a 1/2 cup.
  10. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat.
  12. Garnish with fresh cilantro.


If you are not a vegan, you can substitute ghee for the oil if you like.

Optional garnish- sliced fresh green chilis, onions and thin slivers of fresh ginger.

  • Ingmo Schmelvin - Roast the paneer? Where is there paneer listed in the ingredients?
    ijs 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Vidhya - Nice catch. Paneer does not belong in this recipe. I mistakenly added it in the instructions (it is correct in the Palak Paneer recipe). Thanks!ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *