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Indian Vegetarian Recipes

Chana Masala

chana masala in a green color pot with a wooden spatula

Easy and simple Chana Masala is made using raw chickpeas which are soaked overnight and then cooked with onion, tomatoes and spices.

This popular Indian dish is vegan and gluten-free and pairs well with rice or naan.

chana masala in a green color pot with a wooden spatula

Chana Masala needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular Indian dishes, whether its in India or in the western world.

In Delhi though, we usually make Chole, which is very similar to Chana Masala but uses a special blend of spices.

Both are made with white chickpeas but chana masala is made using basic everyday Indian spices.

Punjabi style chole is also usually darker in color and simmered for much longer time.

However, my mom made this simple Chana Masala often with poori or paratha and we relished every bit of it.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • it is vegan and gluten-free.
  • protein-packed dish for vegetarians and vegans.
  • wonderfully spiced.
  • freezes well and also great for meal planning.

The dish uses everyday Indian spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, turmeric and garam masala.

Often red chili powder is also used. I haven’t used it here since I am not a fan of heat but feel free to add it if you like.

The base of the dish is a onion-tomato masala which is made by cooking fresh onion and tomatoes along with ginger-garlic and green chili.

The spices are then added to the masala along with boiled chickpeas and them simmered until done.

Ingredients

This recipe is pretty basic and straight forward, if you cook Indian food often, then you will most likely will have all these ingredients in your pantry.

ingredients to make chana masala arranged on a board

Chickpeas: I strongly recommend to start with raw chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are just not the same when it comes to making a good bowl of chana masala.

Onion-tomato: like a lot of Indian dishes, the base of this dish (masala) is also made with onions & tomatoes. There’s also garlic-ginger and green chilies to add to the depth of flavors.

Whole & ground spices: this recipe uses a bunch of spices. Whole spices like bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns make the chana masala so fragrant and the ground spices like coriander, paprika, garam masala add to the flavor of the curry.

Tomato paste: I like using bit of tomato paste to really enhance that tomato flavor. If you don’t have it, you may skip it.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Soak 1 cup raw white chickpeas (200 grams) overnight in 3 cups (24 oz) water. In the morning, drain the water and transfer the soaked chickpeas to a pressure cooker along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 to 2.5 cups (16 oz-20 oz) water. After soaking overnight, the volume of chickpeas increased to 2.5 cups (425 grams)!

Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes with natural pressure release.

Stove-top pressure cooker: cook on high heat for 2 whistles, them lower heat to medium and cook for additional 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

2- Once pressure cooked, the chickpeas will break easily when pressed between your thumb and index finger.

If using canned chickpeas, you can skip these steps, use 2.5 cups canned chickpeas and directly move to cooking the chana masala in the pot.

3- Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger, garlic and green chili. Set it aside.

4- Heat a pot/pan over medium heat on stove-top. Once hot, add the oil and then add the whole spices- bay leaf, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and cumin seeds.

Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds and become fragrant.

step by step picture collage of making chana masala at home

5- Add the finely chopped onion and stir. Cook for 3 minutes until the onions soften. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt here so that onions cook a little faster. Meanwhile puree 2 tomatoes using a blender and set aside.

6- Add the crushed ginger-garlic and green chili. Stir and cook for a minute or two until the raw smell of the ginger-garlic goes away.

7- Add the pureed tomatoes along with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.

8- Then add the ground spices- coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, turmeric and garam masala.

step by step picture collage of making chana masala at home

9- Cook the spices for 30 seconds. The oil should ooze out of the sides of the masala at this point.

10- Stir in the boiled chickpeas and mix. Also add 2 cups of water and stir. I used the same water in which the chickpeas were boiled. You can add more water here if you prefer more gravy in your chana masala.

Taste test and adjust the salt at this point, I added 1/8 teaspoon more salt here.

11- Cover the pot with a lid, set heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to mix-in.

12- Stir in crushed kasuri methi and chopped cilantro. Garnish with more cilantro and serve Chana Masala hot. You may also squeeze some fresh lemon juice if desired before serving.

step by step picture collage of making chana masala at home

Serving Suggestions

The dish goes well with jeera rice or garlic naan.

You can also serve it with plain roti.

Using Canned Chickpeas

You can make this chana masala recipe using canned chickpeas.

Simply skip the steps of soaking and pressure cooking the chickpeas. Use 2.5 cups cooked (canned) chickpeas, around 425 grams.

A 15 oz can of chickpeas typically has 1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas so you would need around 1 and a half of those cans.

Follow all the steps as it is!

Freezing The Dish

Can this freeze well? Yes, chickpeas usually freeze well and this chana masala is no exception.

Let it cool down to room temperature and then store in a freezer safe container or ziplock and freeze. It should be good for up to 2 months.

chana masala served in a round black bowl with a spoon, a small bowl of rice placed in the background and another plate with sliced onions on the side

Tips to Make Good Chana Masala

Here are some of my tips to make a good chana masala at home!

Use raw chickpeas: okay, I know there’s always a rush to have dinner ready and so we tend to use the canned stuff often.

However, if you can plan ahead I highly recommend using raw chickpeas for the recipe and soaking it overnight.

It does make a difference to the final taste of the chana masala. Take it from someone who grew up eating this dish very regularly, the canned version isn’t just the same.

Use fresh ingredients: like using fresh ginger-garlic in place of store bought ginger-garlic paste makes a difference to the final taste.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium-low: once you have added the boiled/cooked chickpeas along with water to the pot, lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. This helps the flavors to come together, do not skip this step.

Don’t skip on the kasuri methi & cilantro: Once the dish is ready, don’t forget to add some kasuri methi which are dried fenugreek leaves and impart a wonderful aroma to the dish. Also, a handful of cilantro is must!

Pro-tip: I haven’t done this in the recipe, but to elevate the flavors, you can do that extra-step of frying ginger julienne in ghee and adding it to the chana masala (see notes in the recipe card).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chana Masala vegan?

Yes, it’s usually vegan until and unless one uses butter or ghee in the recipe. This recipe is most definitely vegan.

How long will this Chana Masala last in fridge?

It will be good for 2 to 3 days. If you want it to last longer, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.

Can I make this recipe with canned chickpeas?

Yes, please refer to the notes in the recipe.

Do we pick the whole spices or eat them?

If you don’t like biting into whole spices, put them in a muslin cloth and then add to the pan. That will you will have the aroma of the spices and won’t have to bite into them. Else you can pick them out before eating.

If you’ve tried this Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen and on YouTube to watch my latest videos.

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in March 2020.

chana masala in a green color pot with a wooden spatula

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Chana Masala

Simple Chana Masala made using everyday Indian spices. Raw chickpeas are soaked overnight and then cooked in a onion-tomato based masala. Vegan and gluten-free.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3
Calories 234kcal
Author Manali

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white chickpeas raw, 200 grams, soaked overnight or use 2.5 cups canned chickpeas
  • 3/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt or as needed, divided
  • 2.5 cups water to boil the chickpeas, skip if using canned chickpeas
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 green chili or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil 30 ml, I use avocado oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 7-8 whole black peppercorns
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes pureed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Soak 1 cup raw white chickpeas (200 grams) overnight in 3 cups (24 oz) water. In the morning, drain the water and transfer the soaked chickpeas to a pressure cooker along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 to 2.5 cups (16 oz-20 oz) water. After soaking overnight, the volume of chickpeas increased to 2.5 cups (425 grams)!

    Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes with natural pressure release.

    Stove-top pressure cooker: cook on high heat for 2 whistles, them lower heat to medium and cook for additional 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

  • Once pressure cooked, the chickpeas will break easily when pressed between your thumb and index finger.

    If using canned chickpeas, you can skip these steps, use 2.5 cups canned chickpeas and directly move to cooking the chana masala in the pot.

  • Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger, garlic and green chili. Set it aside.
  • Heat a pot/pan over medium heat on stove-top. Once hot, add the oil and then add the whole spices- bay leaf, green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and cumin seeds.

    Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds and become fragrant.

  • Add the finely chopped onion and stir. Cook for 3 minutes until the onions soften. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt here so that onions cook a little faster. Meanwhile puree 2 tomatoes using a blender and set aside.
  • Add the crushed ginger-garlic and green chili. Stir and cook for a minute or two until the raw smell of the ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes along with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.
  • Then add the ground spices- coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, turmeric and garam masala. Cook the spices for 30 seconds. The oil should ooze out of the sides of the masala at this point.
  • Stir in the boiled chickpeas and mix. Also add 2 cups of water and stir. I used the same water in which the chickpeas were boiled. You can add more water here if you prefer more gravy in your chana masala.

    Taste test and adjust the salt at this point, I added 1/8 teaspoon more salt here.

  • Cover the pot with a lid, set heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to mix-in together.
  • Stir in crushed kasuri methi and chopped cilantro.
  • Garnish with more cilantro and serve Chana Masala with rice or naan! You may also squeeze some fresh lemon juice if desired (see notes).

Notes

  1. You can use a can of diced tomatoes if you don’t have fresh tomatoes. Just cook the tomatoes for 2 minutes only then compared to 5 minutes with fresh pureed tomatoes.
  2. If you prefer spicy food, add 1/4 teaspoon (or even more) of red chili powder for that extra-kick. You can even increase the green chilies in the recipe.
  3. I usually squeeze some fresh lemon juice in my chana masala once done, but here the tomatoes that I used were quite tangy so I didn’t feel the need. If your tomatoes aren’t that tangy, squeeze some lemon juice before serving.
  4. I haven’t done this in the recipe, but to elevate the flavors, you can do that extra-step of frying ginger julienne in ghee and adding it to the chana masala. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a small pan on medium heat. Once hot, add sliced ginger julienne (from 1-inch ginger) to it. Fry until the ginger julienne starts changing color, then add this to the chana masala. Do remember though that the dish won’t be vegan any longer if you do this extra-step and add ghee. 

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 929IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg
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Indian Vegetarian Recipes

Coconut poli recipe- with wheat flour

Coconut poli recipe – with wheat flour – Kayi holige, Coconut puran poli thengai poli, Coconut obattu recipe – Sweet flatbreads stuffed with coconut and jaggery-based filling. Thengai poli with full video and step-by-step pictures.

First I want to share very happy news with you all. It’s Jeyashri’s kitchen’s 12th anniversary. The journey started on August 19 2009 and with all your constant support, we are now stepping into the 13 th year of blogging. Jeyashri’s kitchen has over 1300 plus vegetarian recipes which I learnt from my grandmother, mom, mother-in-law, relatives, friends, friend’s mom and many more people.

The quench to learn new recipes and share them in Jeyashri’s kitchen is the major key that keeps me going in this journey. I extend my thanks and heartfelt gratitude to all my readers for supporting me and looking forward to the same in the coming up years as well.

Coconut poli recipe I have already posted in Jeyashri’s Kitchen many years back. I always wanted to try it out with wheat flour. Though I have posted Maharastrian style puran poli, it is more like a sweet poornam stuffed paratha. I want to make coconut poli with wheat flour using the traditional method of patting the polis with fingers.

My mom is an expert in making polis and she always makes poli in bulk. The softness of her poli, I haven’t seen that anywhere. She inherited that from my grandmother who also does poli extremely well. I have posted my amma’s version of Paruppu poli in Jeyashris kitchen a long time back. But that is using maida flour.

When I decided to make a sweet post for Jeyashri’s Kitchen anniversary, my mind wanted to post this recipe only. As avani avittam and Varalakshmi nombu are coming up, I thought this is the perfect time to share this coconut poli recipe with wheat flour. I called up my mom and asked her the tips and followed the same.

The poli turned out extremely well and I felt so happy that I recreated the closest texture of her polis.

Also, check out

Coconut poli recipe with wheat flour

Coconut poli

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Coconut poli with wheat flour

Soft polis made using whole wheat flour and stuffed with coconut and jaggery poornam
Course Sweet, Traditional sweet
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Festival recipes, South Indian festival, sweets
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 polis
Author Jeyashri suresh

Ingredients

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 7 tsp sesame oil
  • Water to make the dough
  • Ghee as needed to make the poli

For the poornam

Instructions

  • In a bowl add the wheat flour, salt and turmeric powder.
  • Mix well and add water little by little to knead a soft pliable dough.
  • Add 4 tsp of sesame to this and knead well.
  • Smear 3 tsp of oil on the top and keep it covered for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Always use sesame oil for making polis.

Meanwhile, let’s make the poornam.

  • In a pan add the jaggery and add 2 tbsp of water.
  • Once the water starts boiling add the grated coconut.
  • If you want to filter the jaggery water, go ahead and do it and then add the coconut.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, it will come to whole mass.
  • Let the water evaporates but the poornam should not solidify.
  • Else we can’t pat the polis. The poornam should be soft.
  • Add 1 tsp ghee and ½ tsp cardamom powder to this.
  • Mix well and switch off the flame.
  • Allow this to cool completely.
  • Make the dough into lemon sized balls.
  • Also, make the poornam also into lemon sized balls.
  • You can either use a banana leaf or butter paper.
  • I used a butter paper, grease the paper.
  • Place a dough ball in the center.
  • Grease your hands with ghee and pat this gently and make a small disc.
  • Place the poornam in the center.
  • Gently close the edges.
  • Now start patting the polis using your fingers.
  • Do not use rolling pin.
  • Gently push the inside filling to all the sides of the poli.
  • Let the edges be thin.
  • Patiently do this process.
  • Heat a pan and gently take out the poli from the paper.
  • Place it on the tawa.
  • Cook on both sides.
  • Smear ghee on both sides.
  • Once it is cooked on both sides, take out from the pan.
  • Repeat this for the rest of the polis.
  • I was left with one extra dough ball.
  • The poornam came for 4 polis only.
  • This whole wheat poli stays soft for 6-7 hours.

Video

Notes

  1. You can store this in the refrigerator and reheat and serve this the next day.
  2.  The same coconut poli poornam can be used for making kozhakattai too.
  • In a bowl add the wheat flour, salt and turmeric powder.
  • Mix well and add water little by little to knead a soft pliable dough.
wheat flour poli
  • Add 4 tsp of sesame to this and knead well.
  • Smear 3 tsp of oil on the top and keep it covered for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Always use sesame oil for making polis.
wheat flour coconut poli
  • Meanwhile, let’s make the poornam.
  • In a pan add the jaggery and add 2 tbsp of water.
  • Once the water starts boiling add the grated coconut.
  • If you want to filter the jaggery water, go ahead and do it and then add the coconut.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, it will come to whole mass.
thengai poli
  • Let the water evaporates but the poornam should not solidify.
  • Else we can’t pat the polis. The poornam should be soft.
  • Add 1 tsp ghee and ½ tsp cardamom powder to this.
  • Mix well and switch off the flame.
coconut poli
  • Allow this to cool completely.
  • Also, make the poornam also into lemon sized balls.
  • Make the dough into lemon sized balls.
  • You can either use a banana leaf or butter paper.
  • I used a butter paper, grease the paper.
  • Place a dough ball in the center.
  • Grease your hands with ghee and pat this gently and make a small disc.
  • Place the poornam in the center.
  • Gently close the edges.
  • Now start patting the polis using your fingers.
  • Do not use rolling pin.
thengai poli
  • Gently push the inside filling to all the sides of the poli.
  • Let the edges be thin.
  • Patiently do this process.
Thengai poli
  • Heat a pan and gently take out the poli from the paper.
  • Place it on the tawa.
  • Cook on both sides.
Obbatu recipe
  • Smear ghee on both sides.
  • Once it is cooked on both sides, take out from the pan.
  • Repeat this for the rest of the polis.
  • I was left with one extra dough ball.
  • The poornam came for 4 polis only.
  • This whole wheat poli stays soft for 6-7 hours.
Thengai poli recipe

Notes:

  • You can store this in the refrigerator and reheat and serve this the next day.
  • The same coconut poli poornam cane be used for making kozhakattai too.

The post Coconut poli recipe- with wheat flour appeared first on Jeyashri’s Kitchen.

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