Boiled white chickpeas cooked in a tomato-onion gravy and flavoured with some typical Indian spices is a very popular dish across India. Popularly known as chole or Chana masala is a speciality of Punjab and it gets its distinct and authentic taste and flavour from some typical Indian spices like bay leaf, cumin, Hing, garam masala. Punjabi Chole, Chana Masala, Pindi Chana, Amritsari Chole are some variations of Chana preparations with a subtle difference in taste and texture!

Chana masala is a common term for chickpea curry. It needs no introduction as the Chana masala is the most popular Indian vegetarian dish across the country! Interestingly each region of India has its own way of making it. So the taste varies and so are the texture and flavour!

Served with bhatura (puffed and deep-fried Indian bread) or poori, Chana is a delightful treat for any gathering! But it also pairs up well with roti, naan or even steamed rice.

Rich in protein chickpea preparation is a healthy option for vegetarians and growing up kids.

My today’s post describes the basic Chana masala preparation in onion- tomato gravy with the typical Indian spices. It takes almost 40 to 45 min to prepare this dish.

Serves- 4
Cuisine- Indian
Preparation time- 10 min.
Cooking time- 40-45 min
Soaking time- overnight or 8 hrs. to get a better result.


  • White Chickpeas or Kabuli Chana- 2 cups
  • Onion- 2 medium sizes, finely chopped
  • Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Tomato- 1 large, finely chopped.
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder- 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Red chilli powder- ½ tsp
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder- 1 tsp
  • Hing (Asafoetida)- ¼ tsp
  • Sugar- a pinch
  • Amchur powder-1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf- 2
  • Cinnamon stick- 1
  • Green cardamom- 2
  • Black cardamom- 2
  • Cloves- 4-5 nos
  • Kasuri methi- 1 tbsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Oil- 3 tbsp
  • Ghee (clarified butter)- 1 tbsp


Soak Kabuli Chana overnight or at least for 8 hrs.
Boil Chana in 4 cups of water and ½ tsp of salt in a pressure cooker. After the first whistle, reduce the heat and cook on a slow flame for about 2o min, till the Chana becomes tender.
Open the lid when the pressure drops and mash it with a ladder slightly.
In a wok, put oil+ ghee and when it reaches the smoking point, add bay leaf, cumin seeds, Hing, Cinnamon, green and black cardamom and cloves.
After 2-3 seconds, add the chopped onion and pinch of sugar and sauté on medium heat till the onion becomes brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a few seconds,
Add all the spices other than the garam masala and mix properly.
Add chopped tomato and cook till it becomes mushy and the oil starts separating from the masala.
Add the boiled Chana and mix thoroughly with the spices.
Adjust salt.
Cover and cook on slow heat for 10 min.
Adjust water to get a semi-liquid gravy.
After say about 10 min open the lid and sprinkle garam masala and crushed Kasuri methi and give it a nice stir.
Cover for 5 min before taking it out on a serving bowl. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.
Aromatic, spicy, delicious Chana masala is ready to be served.


Forgot to soak Chana at night? Or there is less time to soak the Chana? No issues. Soak it in hot water for 2 hrs to get almost the same result. But there is no denying the fact that soaked Chana are lighter and easy to cook and easier to digest!

Ghee surely enhances the taste but can be replaced by oil if health issues are there.
Put some fried potato cubes and see the magic! Children would love it.

Adding Chana masala is purely optional. I do not put it simply because I prefer to use less spices!

Kabuli Chana, be it semi-liquid or dry, be it with bhatura or rice, never fails to tickle the taste buds of my family. That’s the magic of Indian spices and Indian cuisine.

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