Chana (chole or chickpea or garbanzo beans) is known by many names and made in many ways around the world. Chana masala is one of those many original recipes from Punjab-India now famous everywhere in the world.
Chana (or Chole) masala is often eaten with bhatura (Indian fried bread usually made with all-purpose flour) and naan (Indian bread). You can see street side vendors selling chole bhature or chole kulcha in many north Indian cities and trust me they are just yum!
My mom always says chana is like potato that you can mix with anything and it still tastes yummy. You can make chana lauki (chickpea with bottle gourd curry), chana spinach, capsicum chana and of course chana masala. Usually I make chana masala with tomatoes but one day I had soaked and boiled chana and then I noticed I don’t have tomatoes at home, so I decided to make chana masala with tamarind rather. Surprisingly it came out so good that it became my favorite method then after. I like to make this chana masala especially for my kids. Sometimes I keep it for school lunch with parathas or carrot rice.
In this chana recipe I soaked chana for 10-12 hours so they get cooked easily. First I pressure cooked them and then I cooked them in a flavorful gravy of onion and aromatic Indian spices. I used tamarind juice which gives this dish perfect sourness and earthy flavor.
If you are looking for Indian curry recipes you might also like mushroom spinach curry, rajma masal, paneer masala.
Chana Masala Detailed Recipe Card
- Kabuli Chana (Chole): 2 cups,
- Onion: 2 roughly chopped,
- Tamarind paste: ¼ cup,
- Cloves: 4,
- Pepper corn: 8-10,
- Bay leaves: 2,
- Dried red chilly: 2,
- Ginger: 1 inch piece,
- Garlic: 6-7 cloves,
- Coriander powder: 1 tbs,
- Garam masala: 1tsp,
- Chilly Powder: 1tsp,
- Cumin seeds: 1tsp,
- Cilantro (coriander) for garnishing,
- Oil for cooking
- Soak chana for 8-10 hours. Put them in a pressure cooker with four cups of water and some salt.
- Cook it for 8-10 whistles. Take it out in a bowl.
- Take again clean pressure cooker and put oil, cumin seeds, cloves, pepper, bay leaves, dried chilly.
- Sauté for a minute. Add ginger, garlic and onion. Cook till onion changes color and becomes soft.
- Add chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala to it. Mix them well and add one cup of water.
- Close the lid and cook masala for 4 -5 whistles. When pressure cooker cools down take the pressure out and open the lid.
- Now mash onions and garlic with a spoon/ladle and cook masala in open cooker until oil comes out.
- Add green chilly, tamarind paste and boiled chana to it. Cook it for another 10-12 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped onions, green chilly and coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with rice or chapatti.
2. You can make tamarind paste ahead of time and can store in the freezer for almost a month.