Chana Masala, the Vegetarian Chickpea Stew Rich in Both Flavor and Nutrition

Easy Vegetarian Dish – chickpea curry chana masala

Chana Masala is an Easy Dinner Dish

Chana Masala is one of our favorite vegetarian dishes. It goes well with anything, rice, roti, or naan. When enjoyed along with Bhatura, the meal is called Chole Bhatura, as chole is another name for the white chickpeas. This recipe is a faithful record of my husband Shailesh’s routine cooking, as he does it the best.

Chickpea is a Wonderful Vegetarian Option Rich in Nutrition

Chickpea is one of the most ancient and popular legumes cooked in multiple cuisines in different parts of the world. It is rich in protein, dietary fiber, unsaturated fat and vitamins. One cup of cooked chickpea provides 14 grams of protein and 12 grams of dietary fiber. Once cooked, it is easy to digest, which makes it a top choice food for people of all ages.

Easy Chana Masala

A flavorful and nutritious dinner dish that is easy to make at home.
Prep Time 5 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal


  • Large Saucepan
  • Pressure cooker (optional)


  • 1 cup dry white chickpea
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or any cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda for soaking chickpeas


  • 2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon gram masala


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger root, minced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz) Or 1.5 cups of fresh diced tomatoes.



  • In the morning, add one cup of dry white chickpeas into 6 cups of cold water. (Optional) add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt into water and mix well. The baking soda and salt will help soften chickpeas and cook them creamy.
  • Soak for 4 hours or longer.
  • Drain the water, rinse chickpeas, add 2 cups of water, and cook in pressure cooker at high pressure for 10 min (or use the Bean/Chili setting)

Making Chana Masala

  • In a large saucepan heated on medium high, add 2 tablespoon of ghee. Once ghee melts, add 0.5 teaspoons of cumin seeds until they splatter. Add chopped onions, cook until they become translucent, which takes about 1-2 minute.
  • Add chopped ginger, garlic and chili pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds until they become fragrant.
  • Add spice powder (turmeric, coriander power, gram masala). Add red chili powder and salt to taste. Stir for about one minute. The spice powder may stick to bottom of the pan and appear burned. Don't worry. They are not burned and will blend into liquids from next steps.
  • Add diced potatoes. Mix well and cook until "it leaves the bottom of pan" as Gramma said in Hindi, which takes about 5 minutes.
  • Add cooked chickpeas. Add enough chickpea water to cover all ingredients. Mix well. Turn to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Crush some chickpeas using back of the spatula. This will thicken the stew and help make it creamy.
  • Add chopped cilantro for garnish. Serve warm with rice.


  • If pressure cooker is not used, simmer the soaked chickpeas for 30 minutes and they will become creamy.
Keyword chana, chickpea, dinner, Indian

About the Author Isabel

live in Ann Arbor, MI with my husband and our children and Mango the orange tabby. I love hiking, running, baking, cooking and biking. I set up this blog to share wonderful food our family love.

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