Chana Masala

Chana Masala

Country of Origin: India

Time for Preparation: 10 minutes // Time to cook: 10-20 minutes

Ingredients - Serves 4

  • Onion (red or white) – 1 whole, finely diced
  • Diced tomato – 1 can
  • Ginger – ½ inch, peeled and minced
  • Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves, minced
  • Chili pepper – diced
  • ½ Lime
  • Chickpea/garbanzo bean – 1 can
  • Yogurt/coconut milk (optional) – up to 1 cup


  • Garam masala – 1tbsp (how to make below)
    • Cumin – 1tbsp
    • Coriander - 1 ½ tsp
    • Cardamom - 1 ½ tsp
    • Black pepper - 1 ½ tsp
    • Cinnamon – 1 tsp
    • Cloves – ½ tsp
    • Nutmeg – ½ tsp
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Coriander – 1tsp
  • Paprika – 1tsp
  • Coriander/cilantro – 1 large handful


Chana Masala, sometimes called Chole Masala, is a popular dish from the North Indian state of Gujarat, and parts of Pakistan. Depending on the region, the dish is typically dry and spicy, with tangy flavors from lime. This is often served with rice, Naan (or other Indian breads), or sometimes as an appetizer by itself. This vegetarian dish is a staple in India, and easy to make.

Preparation is pretty simple. It may help using canned chickpeas, or you will have to soak dry chickpeas overnight before cooking. If you want to keep the cooking time low, have your onion, chili, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes (if fresh) chopped ahead of time. Finely dice your onion and tomato so it cooks evenly.

These days, you are able to find Garam Masala powder at many American chain grocery stores and Asian markets. If you are making your own Garam Masala, add all of those dried ingredients into a grinder. Grind until it is a fine powder. Making this dish is quite simple. You just want to make sure that it doesn’t burn and that the spices are mixed evenly with the dish. 



  1. Heat a large pot on Medium-High heat. Add a few tsp of oil, and finely dice an onion. Add the onion into the pot. Let the onions sweat until they become somewhat translucent. (Be sure it doesn’t burn; add water if need be)
  2. Fully peel and mince the garlic and ginger, and add to the pot. Mix together.
  3. Dice a red or green chili pepper and add to the mix. If you don’t want too much spice, remove the seeds.
  4. Add all spices, and mix together. Add a can of diced tomatoes, or use freshly diced tomatoes.
  5. At this point, you can add yogurt or coconut milk to the mix, if you want a creamy texture.
  6. Be sure to thoroughly wash and drain your chickpeas before adding.
  7. Add in salt and pepper to taste
  8. Bring the heat down to a simmer
  9. Finely chop a handful of cilantro, add the juice of a lime, and mix well. Let this sit on low heat for 5-10 minutes, or longer to reduce.
  10. Enjoy!

Recommendation by: Varuan Badarinath

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