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Easy to make Chana Masala

Chana Masala or Chole
Chana Masala pinit View Gallery 1 photo

Easy to make Chana Masala

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 35 mins
Servings: 4
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Chana masala also called chole masala, is a North Indian dish that is a specialty in Punjab. “Chana” means chickpea, and “masala” is a blend of spices used in Indian cooking. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are used in many countries, and in the middle east, they are used to make Hummus along with many other dishes.

This recipe is an inspired version that resembles what we’ve tasted in authentic Indian restaurants. 

You can find the following spices at your local Indian store. Tamarind, Brown Cardamom and Aamchoor are essential ingredients. Tamarind paste is available in jars or tubes, and aamchoor is in powder form. Remember, the spices vary from dish to dish, and you can add or reduce spices to your taste.

The dish is made with chickpeas, onions, garlic, fresh cilantro, tomatoes and a blend of spices. It can be prepared in several ways, but I chose the simple recipe, which includes garbanzo beans and does not require soaking overnight or a pressure cooker.

TIP: canned garbanzo beans need to be rinsed at least two or three times with water and drained well. Some skin of garbanzo beans may come off, and that is OK. To make this dish with raw garbanzo beans, you must soak them overnight and blend them in a food processor. 

Note that chole is served with bhatura-large puri, and the dish is called Chana Bhatura.


This recipe makes about two to three cups of sauce that you can store in the freezer and thaw as needed.


Heat oil in a large nonstick pan and add the chopped onions. Saute on low to medium heat and stir occasionally until onions are almost transparent.

Add ginger, garlic, cumin coriander powder, chili powder and brown cardamom. Mix well and let it saute a bit more.

Add tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, tamarind and aamchoor. Let the mixture cook at low heat for about five minutes.

You can add more chili powder for taste. The brown cardamom makes it spicy and you can remove them if needed.

Once the sauce is ready, add the drained garbanzo beans and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes until the garbanzo beans are fully covered with sauce.

Keywords: spicy, tangy, garbanzo, chana masala, beans, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, Indian, tamarind, brown cardamom, aamchoor, paste, authentic, onions, garlic, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, bhatura large puri,
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