Easy Chana Masala (Chickpea) Curry

So, we went to Kerala for a short trip. Apart from the change of scene from our usual routine, my favourite part of any trip is I’m not in charge of menu! If you are the person in charge of daily cooking at your place, I’m sure you’ll agree with me, when I say handing over that decision is liberating ;)

Anyways, now that we are back and settling into our routine, the decision making starts! “What curry should we make for chapathi?” is such a simple question, but when you do it on a daily basis, it’s not so simple as it sounds.

Chana masala (or channa masala, chole masala, or chholay) is probably the second most internationally recognized Indian dish after Chicken Tikka Masala and will probably appease any vegetarian.

Since chickpea (or chana) is something that we both like, I cook it regularly. My go to recipes are Vella Kadala Curry and Mummy’s Chana Masala. Though not a side dish, I love Falafel too, I guess I like the meaty texture of chickpea.

However, last year when we visited my brother’s family in Bombay, their cook made this curry. It had a different taste from our usual recipe and had a creamier texture too. I made sure to get the recipe from him and share it with you here.

A bit about the cook at my bro’s place – Dilawar, is no ordinary cook, he was a chef at a small restaurant. He cooks everything in restaurant style and makes sure everything is presented well and he also takes photos before bringing it to the dining table ;)

I do hope you enjoy Dilawar’s Easy Chana Masala recipe. This dish goes well with Jeera Rice, Ghee Rice, Coconut Rice, Tomato Rice, Veg Pulao, Plain Rice, Chapathi and even Upma

Here is the recipe…

Pressure cook soaked chana with 3 – 3.5 cups water and salt. I cook it for 8-10 whistles on, high flame. Switch off the gas and let the pressure drop completely, around 15 mins…

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Grind together chopped ginger, garlic, green chilli and cashew nuts with 2 tbsp water to a smooth paste…

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Heat oil in a deep and wide pan. Add chopped onion and cook till it browns…

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Add chopped tomato and cook till it becomes soft…

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Add ground paste, salt and fry for 3-4 mins mins, till the raw smell goes and oil starts appearing…

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Add masala powders (turmeric, chilli, coriander and garam masala). Mix well. Add 1-2 tbsp of stock (cooking water from chana). Cook on low flame for 3-4 mins…

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Add cooked chana, mix well…

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Add the stock (cooking water) and bring it to boil. Simmer, cover and cook for 8-10 mins…

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Add chopped coriander leaves and ghee (if using). Let the curry rest for 20-30 mins, before serving…

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Chana Masala

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5 -6
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups Kabuli Chana (White Chickpeas) ( soaked overnight or you can sub canned chickpeas)
  • 3 med - big Onion ( chopped)
  • 2.5 tsp Chopped ginger & garlic (each)
  • 1-2 Green chilli (chopped)
  • 6 Cashew nuts
  • 1 big Tomato (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2 - 2.5 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala (refer notes)
  • 2 tbsp Chopped coriander leaves
  • 1-2 tsp Ghee (optional)
  • Salt
  • Oil (I used sunflower oil)

Instructions

  • Soak chana overnight. Drain the water and rinse the chana 2-3 times. Pressure cook chana with 3 - 3.5 cups water and salt. I cook it for 8-10 whistles on, high flame. Switch off the gas and let the pressure drop completely, around 15 mins.
  • Grind together chopped ginger, garlic, green chilli and cashew nuts with 2 tbsp water to a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a deep and wide pan. Add chopped onion and cook till it browns. Add chopped tomato and cook till it becomes soft.
  • Add ground paste, salt and fry for 3-4 mins mins, till the raw smell goes and oil starts appearing.
  • Add masala powders (turmeric, chilli, coriander and garam masala). Mix well. Add 1-2 tbsp of stock (cooking water from chana). Cook on low flame for 3-4 mins. Add cooked chana, mix well. Add the stock (cooking water) and bring it to boil.
  • Simmer, cover and cook for 8-10 mins. Add chopped coriander leaves and ghee (if using).
  • Let the curry rest for 20-30 mins, before serving.

Notes

I used North Indian Garam masala for this recipe. However you can use your regular garam masala also. If you are using South Indian garam masala, add 1/2 tsp cumin also along with the spice powders.
The curry has a medium thick consistency. Keep in mind that the gravy tends to thicken as it rests. Adjust the water qty to suit your requirements.
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  • Thank you so much for this recipe <3.. i'd been looking for that perfect chana masala taste that you get in restaurants and this is the first recipe that i enjoyed soo much and it was easy to make too!

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