Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chana Masala / Chickpeas Curry

I grew up in a house where onions and garlic were banned. My mother relaxed  the rule a bit and let us eat onions once in a while. So, to be honest,  I cooked with garlic when I was 24. Till then, I had not even touched it. Weird, isn't it? Anyway, after eating this chana masala in almost every Indian restaurant's buffet, I never developed any affection towards this dish, until I tasted my sister-in-law's preparation. I can't say it is her recipe since I have tweaked it so much over years and when it comes to Indian cooking, things change every time at the same person's hands. So, here is my version of this pretty satisfying side dish.
One year back -  Eggless Cardamom Cookies
Chickpeas - 3 cups dry (Or you can use about 4 - 5 cans of chickpeas)
Red Onions - 4 small or 2 large quartered
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1" piece peeled and coarsely chopped
Salt - to taste
Red Chilli powder - 1 - 2 tsp as per taste
Turmeric - a pinch (optional)
Chole Masala - 1 TBSP or as per taste (you get this in Indian stores)
Tomatoes - 4 medium (Or you could use crushed tomatoes from can about a cup)
Amchoor powder / dry mango powder - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 4 TBSP chopped
Nigella seeds / Carom seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 5 TBSP

Soak chickpeas overnight in enough water. Rinse well and cover with enough water and pressure cook till soft. Set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When it starts boiling, add the tomatoes and after 3 minutes, take them out and immerse in cold water. The skin will shrink and you can peel them off. Crush the tomatoes and set aside.

In a blender or a food processor, take the garlic pods, ginger and quartered onions. Blitz to mince them. You do not need any water and don't add any. When done, heat oil in a pan. When hot, add nigella seeds. They will pop. Add the ground onion, garlic and ginger mush and stir. Add turmeric, a pinch of salt and keep stirring. It has to be cooked through. It will burn very easily. So, keep an eye on it and keep stirring. You can avoid the burning by using more oil, but I prefer less. When the raw smell of the onions is gone, add the crushed tomatoes, chilli powder, amchoor powder and stir. Meanwhile, take out about 1 cup of cooked chickpeas in to the blender. Use the water that you used to cook it and make a puree out of it. Add the remaining chickpeas into the pot. Reserve the water to add for later if needed. Add the pureed chickpeas, chole masala and stir. Add water as needed to get the gravy consistency and check for the seasonings. Adjust if needed. When it starts simmering, add the cilantro and mix well and turn off the heat. Serve with naan, roti, chapathi or even bread.
This freezes beautifully. I make more and pack them in individual ziploc containers. When I have no time, we take it out and transfer to a ceramic dish and microwave for 4 - 5 minutes and eat with rotis. I used to make the chole masala myself many years ago, but I find that the store bought ones are pretty good. I have started using them now.
Enjoy. Pin It


  1. Slurp,mouthwatering here..

  2. chhole is always a favorite in our house. Love any prep. Recently, I tasted gujarati prep and loved it. So, will try it out and post it in few days :)

  3. Chole masala is an evergreen Curry :)
    Btw, same with me Champa, I started using Garlic only for the the past 5 years or so :) Even today I cannot tolerate too much of garlic..

  4. Lovely presentation...channa masala makes me drool here

  5. Channa masala is such a versatile recipe......i have tasted it at so many places....and somehow there is something different evreytime....Plz do chk my blog for the no onion - no garlic version!!!

  6. Channamasala are always our family it with pooris,makes me hungry..

  7. Very bright pics. Love to have with chapathis :)

  8. yummy looking chana masala, I too made it last week, I added ginger garlic paste,added aloo and turnip for a twist.
    nice snaps

  9. Nice recipe and cute clicks.. Love your dish :)

  10. Tasty and mouthwatering and love it.

  11. Chana masala looks very appetizing. Yumm...

  12. Delicious and mouthwatering

  13. Ooh, this looks so good. I love chana masala, but I've never made an authentic version at home, before. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Can't go wrong with chan a masala.. My cousin makes it similar to your preparation, grinding the chan a... Even I do it once In a while for more gravy. In my house, they love lot of gravy.

  15. Yumm!! They look so yummy!! Good tip on freezing them!!

  16. looks absolutely delicious.....nice recipe :)

  17. Hi Champa - a big thank you from Season with Spice for sharing your recipe in support of the Cook & Share a Pot of curry event. This is a lovely recipe to try out!

  18. delicious looking curry Champa wonderfully done

  19. Hi Champa, I tried your channa masala recipe and it was awesome! Thank you :)

    1. Thanks for the feedback Nandini. I appreciate it.


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