Bowl of Indian chickpea curry with rice

Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

  • Author: Sapana Chandra
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


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.



Chana Masala:

  • 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

Spice Blend:

  • 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


Stovetop Chana Masala:

  1. In a big pot, warm oil on medium-low heat.
  2. 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. 
  3. Add the spice blend. Stir well and cook for a minute until the spices become fragrant.
  4. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and water. Stir and bring the dish to a gentle simmer.
  5. Cover the pot and let the dish cook until the chickpeas are soft and tender, for about 30 minutes. 
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
  7. Serve immediately.

Instant Pot Chana Masala:

  1. 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 the spice blend, chickpeas, tomatoes, and water to pressure cooker; stir well.
  3. 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 the steam naturally for 10 minutes before quick-releasing the pressure. Select Cancel. 
  5. Add lemon juice and cilantro. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Stir until well combined.
  6. Serve immediately or store for later in a glass airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


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