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best chana masala recipe ever

Best Chana Masala Recipe (Chickpea Masala Recipe) For Chapathi, Poori, Bhatura & Rice

Indian chana masala or chickpeas masala (garbanzo beans) using onion tomato gravy and spices makes an absolutely delicious chickpea masala which can be enjoyed with rice or Indian flatbread like chapathi, poori, dosa etc.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Soaking time for dry chickpeas 10 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 378kcal


  • 2 cups Chickpeas dry or use 4 cups of canned chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste or grind two small fresh tomatoes
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 5 cups water plus more for soaking the chickpeas
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons jaggery or sugar (add more if the curry is too sour)
  • 2 tablespoons Oil for sauteing onion
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala powder

For seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons Oil this is separate from the oil needed for sauteing onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

For Garnishing

  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves (coriander leaves)


Preparing the chickpeas

  • Wash the chickpeas and soak in water in a large vessel (chickpeas will double in size with soaking) for about 8 to 10 hours or overnight for best results. If you are using canned chickpeas, you can skip this step.
  • After soaking, you can drain the water and lightly rinse the chickpeas again.
  • Transfer the soaked chickpeas to the pressure cooker and add enough salt and water, close the lid and cook in medium heat for about 12 to 14 minutes or about 3 to 4 whistles. Make sure to use the safety valve and follow the directions in the manual as this is important for your safety while using pressure cooker.
  • After 12 t 14 minutes of cooking, switch off the stove and wait for the pressure cooker to cool down.
  • Meanwhile peel and slice the onion finely.

Preparing the onion paste

  • Heat a pan, add some oil and start sauteing the sliced onion.
  • Add enough salt and saute the onion until they are transparent or starting to brown, no need to caramelize the onion.
  • In a food processor, grind the sauteed onion to make onion paste. You don't have to grind the onion until smooth, as small pieces are very much fine. Keep the onion paste aside in a bowl.

Making the gravy for the curry and let us finish making the chana masala

  • Now heat the oil (for seasoning) in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds are lightly fried, add the tomato paste and saute for about a minute in very low heat.
  • Transfer this sauteed tomato paste to a ceramic or steel bowl (which can handle the hot oil, if you use plastic, it may melt) and keep it aside.
  • When the pressure cooker is cooled, open the lid and see if the chickpeas is cooked and soft. We really don't need all the water used to cook the chickpeas, but we need some of it to make the gravy of the chana masala. So drain the water using a drainer but don't discard the water but save it in a different bowl large enough to hold the water. Let us call this the chickpeas broth for easy reference. Be cautious if the water is hot, or you can even wait until the water is cold enough to be safe.
  • Now we have the dry cooked chickpeas in the cooker and the water used to cook the chickpeas in another bowl.
  • Add some chickpeas broth to the sauteed tomato paste to make it more liquid like consistency ( 3 to 4 tablespoons of broth is enough).
  • And we also have sauteed onion paste and tomato paste in separate bowls.
  • Now heat a large sized pan (you can also use the one used for sauteing tomato paste but it should be large enough to hold the chickpeas) and add the tomato paste mixed with broth and onion paste. Mix well.
  • Add ginger garlic paste to this tomato onion mixture and saute the mixture for another 1 minute until well combined.(we have salt in cooked chickpeas and onion mixture, no need to add extra salt as the tomato paste is sour. You can add salt if needed towards the end of the preparation, if needed).
  • Add  the jaggery or sugar to the tomato onion mixture to balance out the sourness. This step is very important as the chana masala will turn out too sour otherwise. After adding the sugar, mix well until until dissolved and then taste a bit (by taking a bit in spoon and wait until its cooled). If you think its still too sour, you can add a bit more sugar but don't add too much sugar as we don't want the chana masala to be sweet.
  • Now add the spices - you can add all the spices to the mixture and mix well and saute until everything is well blended.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas to the mixture and mix well until the chickpeas is coated well with the tomato onion mixture in spices. You can saute this for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 to 3 cups of chickpeas of broth to the pan to make the gravy. Mix everything well and heat so that the gravy is well blended with the chickpeas and spices in tomato onion mixture.
  • Now you have the perfect chana masala gravy ready with the gravy made from tomato onion mixture combined with spices and chickpeas broth.
  • If you prefer more gravy for the chana masala, you can add little more of the chickpeas broth.
  • Garnish the chana masala curry with fresh cilantro leaves.
  • Your chana masala gravy or Indian chickpeas curry for chapathi is ready to be used!
  • Serve the hot chana masala gravy with chapathi, poori, bhatura, rice or even idli or dosa or appam or puttu and enjoy!


Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 772mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 6mg