Chana Masala
Chana Masala

Chana Masala, also known as Chole Masala, is a vegetarian and vegan Indian comfort food packed with flavor and perfect for dinner (or lunch) any day of the week! It also freezes beautifully, making it a great ready-to-eat meal in the freezer.

Chana Masala is a favorite feel-good dish for me. It’s easy to fix and gives me the comfort I crave on a chilly night or even a windy day!

What is Chana Masala?

Chana Masala originally comes from the northern parts of India where it is a staple food. But it’s gained popularity in recent years because it’s vegan, high in protein, and easy to prepare.

Chana Masala can also be called chole masala, refers to the type of garam used in the dish. So if one day you see chole masala on a menu, rest assured it’s your beloved chana masala.

This dish is typically prepared by boiling chickpeas in an Indian curry paste. This basic curry paste is the base of many Indian curries, from the traditional Indian chicken curry to chickpea curries like this one.

What is Indian curry paste?

Indian curry paste is made from two types of aromatic mixtures: wet and dry.

  • The wet mix is mainly prepared by grinding onions, ginger and garlic. Sometimes Thai chili is added to the mixture.
  • The dry mix is a variety of whole spices, many of which are also used to make garam masala.

How to make this chana masala

Also, the dish traditionally uses dry chickpeas that are soaked overnight and then boiled before adding the curry paste. I’m used to this process so it goes without saying for me, but feel free to substitute canned chickpeas for them. This will definitely speed up the process.

On top of this basic recipe, feel free to go crazy and add your own twists to it. Many people like to add coconut or almond milk for a creamier curry. Kale, spinach, or Swiss chard are also great sources of nutrients to add to the dish.

What to serve with Chana Masala

Serve chana masala with rice or roti, an Indian flatbread, or, if you fancy something healthier, choose whole grains like wild rice or quinoa.

How to store chana masala

Like many Indian curries, chana masala keeps in the fridge for a day or two, or can be frozen for up to two months. You can reheat it in the microwave or on a stovetop over medium-high heat. Don’t refreeze it after you’ve frozen and thawed it, or the curry will just turn to mush.

More Indian favorites to take home!

  • Indian Chicken Biryani
  • butter chicken
  • golden milk
  • Saag tofu
  • Red lentil dal

Chana Masala

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
30 minutes

total time
45 minutes

6 servings

It is common in Indian recipes to leave whole spices in the dish for the individual to pick out. If you’re concerned about this, you can remove the cloves, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods before serving them to your guests.


  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas (soaked overnight) or a 28-ounce can of low-sodium chickpeas

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 4 all cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed

  • 1-inch piece Cinammon

  • 4 green cardamom Pods

  • 1/2 Cup chopped Red onion

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 3/4 Cup chopped tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh coriander (Garnish)


  1. Preparation of the chickpeas:

    If you’re starting with dry chickpeas, rinse the chickpeas with water, place them in a bowl, and cover with water. Soak them overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. The next day, add 3 cups of water to the soaked chickpeas and pressure cook until tender. Set aside for later.

    If you prefer, skip this step and just use canned chickpeas. Strain and rinse the chickpeas and continue to the next step.

  2. Flower the Spices:

    In a Dutch oven over medium heat add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the cloves, cumin, cinnamon stick, and green cardamom pods.

    Once the oil is spluttering, add the red onion. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the onion until it starts to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Once the onions have started to colour, add the cilantro, ginger garlic paste, salt and turmeric. Mix well. Cook for an additional 15 to 20 seconds, until the spices are fragrant.

  3. Assemble the chana masala:

    Add the chopped tomato and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato is tender and the masala has turned into a fluffy paste. This should take around 5 to 8 minutes.

    If you cooked your own chickpeas, add them along with the cooking liquid. If using canned chickpeas, add them along with 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the garam masala and mix everything together.

  4. Cover and cook: Cover and cook the ingredients over medium-high heat to combine all the spices and sauce well, and season the chickpeas for 5 to 8 minutes.

  5. Garnish and serve:

    Turn off the heater. Uncover the pot and stir in the cilantro. Serve warm with rice or bread.

nutritional information (per serving)
260 calories
9g Fat
37g carbohydrates
11g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!