Chana masala (or Indian chickpea curry) is an Indian staple, Made with a delicious mixture of chickpeas, Indian spices, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, it’s tasty and so easy to make. Enjoy it with a bowl of Basmati rice, quinoa, naan, or in a Buddha bowl!
What is Chana Masala Made of?
Chana masala (also called “chole”) is an Indian dish made with chickpeas, a blend of Indian spices, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. It’s traditionally enjoyed with a fluffy deep-fried bread called
Chana Masala Spice Mix
The following spices are used to make a spice blend in this recipe:
- Black pepper
Chana Masala Restaurant Style
Chana masala served in Indian restaurants usually contains a lot of oil. However, it’s easy to cook chana masala that’s just as delicious at home with a few simple ingredients and a handful of spices. It can be made on the stovetop or a pressure cooker.
How to Make Chana Masala
1. Warm the oil: In a big pot, warm oil. I use avocado oil.
2. Cook onion and garlic: Add diced onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Cook this on medium-low heat until the onion starts to appear translucent and smells fragrant.
3. Add the spices: Stir in the spice blend and cook for a minute until it becomes fragrant.
4. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and water: Stir and bring the dish to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer until the chickpeas are soft and tender. If you feel like there is too much liquid, simply simmer it without the lid to evaporate the water.
5. Add lemon juice and cilantro: Turn off the heat completely and add the lemon juice and fresh cilantro. The lemon juice adds tanginess to the dish while the cilantro adds more flavor.
6. Serve and enjoy: If you want to save it for later, be sure to completely cool down the chana masala before storing it in the fridge in an airtight glass container.
Instant Pot Chana Masala
Alternatively, you can easily cook chickpea curry in your Instant Pot! It’s one of my favorite ways of cooking the dish as it takes a few minutes of hands-on time before I can get to other things I need to do.
1. Saute: Set pressure cooker to Sauté on Normal and heat oil in the inner steel pot of the pressure cooker. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Press Cancel.
2. Add Ingredients: Add the spice blend, chickpeas, tomatoes, and water to pressure cooker; stir well.
3. Pressure Cook: Lock pressure cooker lid in place and set steam vent to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook (Manual) and cook for 5 minutes on High Pressure.
4. Release Steam: Release the steam naturally for 10 minutes before quick-releasing the pressure. Select Cancel.
5. Add Additional Ingredients: Add lemon juice and cilantro. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Stir until well combined.
6. Serve: serve immediately or cool down before storing in a glass airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What to Serve with Chana Masala
While you can enjoy a bowl of chana masala on its own, here are a few other ways to enjoy it:
- Served over rice, such as Basmati rice or brown rice
- Served over perfectly cooked quinoa (which is also so easy to make in the Instant Pot!)
- Enjoy with naan which is a fluffy Indian flatbread, made with yeast
- Dip roti, an Indian flatbread, in chana masala
- In a bowl! I love eating it in this chickpea nourish bowl.
Can you Freeze Chana Masala?
Yes, cool it down completely before storing it in an air-tight container in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy it, reheat it on the stovetop. This makes it a great candidate for meal prep as it heats perfectly.
For More Indian Recipes, Check Out:
- Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- How to Make Kitchari
- Masala Potato Salad
- Aloo Tikki (Indian Potato Patties)
- Vegan Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)
Chana masala (or chickpea curry) is an Indian staple, Made with a delicious mixture of chickpeas, Indian spices, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, it’s tasty and so easy to make.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- Spice blend (see below)
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed well
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For Garnish (optional):
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Halved cherry tomatoes
- In a big pot, warm oil on medium-low heat.
- Add the diced onion and a couple cloves of garlic. Cook the onion and garlic on medium-low heat until the onion starts to appear translucent and starts to smell fragrant.
- Add the spice blend. Stir well and cook for a minute until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and water. Stir and bring the dish to a gentle simmer.
- Cover the pot and let the dish cook until the chickpeas are soft and tender, for about 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
If you feel like there is too much liquid in the chana masala, simply remove the lid and continue to simmer until the dish is at the desired consistency.
If you’re using dried chickpeas, be sure to cook them beforehand. Instant Pot chickpeas are easy to make if you’re running short on time!
Keywords: chana masala, chickpea curry, chole
This recipe was originally published on January 18, 2019. Since then, it’s been freshened up with new pictures, commentary, and made even more delicious!