Chana Masala

Chana Masala aka “pindi chana” or the most mouth watering way of cooking chickpeas- fragrant, one pot and absolutely delicious!

There are many versions of this dish but this one is my favorite as it reminds me of a childhood restaurant back in Calcutta, India called Kwality’s. It was a ritual for our family that every Saturday afternoon, we would get there and without even looking at the menu place the order.

This dish primarily hails from north of India and is a coming together of chickpeas steeped in whole spices and cooked in a flavorful gravy. Serve it with hot rice or naan bread. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

Chana Masala

A delicious, vegetarian, fragrant Indian entree that will be worth the time.
Course: lunch, dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 people
Author: beyond.curry


Chickpeas prep

  • 1 1/4 cup chickpeas /chana
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled whole
  • 1 cinnamon stick 1"
  • 1 black cardamom/badi elaichi whole
  • 3 green cardamom/ choti elaichi whole
  • 3 cloves whole
  • 1 bay leaf/ tej patta
  • 8 black pepper corns whole
  • 1 no. black tea bag darjeeling
  • salt to taste
  • water

For gravy

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions blend to a paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 3 tomatoes pureed
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1.5 tbsp anardana/ dry pomegranate seeds powder see notes
  • 1 cup water hot
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves/methi leaves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped


The Chickpeas

  • Soak the chickpeas for at least 5 hours or if possible overnight.
  • Transfer to a pressure cooker and add the garlic, whole spices, tea bag and salt. Pour water to cover the chickpeas an inch above, stir and cover with lid.
  • Pressure on medium flame for 3-4 whistles.
    Note: If using instant pot, out on hight pressure for 6 minutes and natural release
  • Once the pressure is released naturally, check the cooked chickpeash for "smushy" consistency. Remove the tea bag to avoid bitterness and all the whole spices. You can leave the garlic in.

For the Gravy

  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbs oil.  On a medium high flame, add the onion paste and cook to golden brown. Add a few splashes of water to avoid burning.
  • Add the ginger garlic pastes and  pinch of slat- continue to cook till all the raw smell is gone.
  • Now add the tomato puree and cook till oil starts releasing from the mix.
  • Add the green chilli, coriander, cumin. anardana and red chilli powder and cook on a simmer for 3-5 minutes with a 1/2 cup of water
  • Now add all the chickpeas along with the liquid into the pan. Mix thoroughly Add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes for 5 minutes after.
  • Now add the garam masala and methi powder to the chana. Check for salt and add chopped cilantro. Simmer for 7-10 minutes on a low flame till desired consistency of the gravy is reached



  • Anardana/pomegranate seeds are easily available online or at your local grocery store. Roast a bit to dry the seeds out and then make a powder.
  • The chana masala should have a  thick gravy consistency.

Serve hot with a pat of butter/ non dairy butter and enjoy with rice or naan bread. Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, let me know.  Please don’t forget to tag a photo #beyondcurry on Instagram. Cheers!

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