Chana Masala – The Perfect Weeknight Dinner

A Vegan Classic: Chana Masala Recipes You Need to Try Today!

Indulge in the exquisite flavors of chana masala, a tantalizing North Indian dish that combines robust spices with protein-rich chickpeas.

This vegan delight is a culinary masterpiece, bursting with aromatic spices that dance on your palate. With every bite, savor the rich and satisfying blend of flavors.

This hearty and flavorful dish can be enjoyed as a main course or served as a side, complementing your favorite Indian bread or steamed rice.

This is my mother-in-law’s recipe. 

What is Chana Masala?

There is no need to introduce Chana Masala. It is one of the most popular Indian dishes, both in India and around the world.

‘Chana’ is Hindi for ‘chickpeas,’ and masala means ‘spice curry.’ So chana masala is simply chickpeas cooked in a spicy tomato masala.

Different states in India have their own version of this recipe.

At its core, chana masala showcases the harmonious marriage of tender chickpeas and a delectable blend of aromatic spices.

From the first bite, you’ll be greeted by a symphony of earthy cumin, zesty coriander, fiery chili, warming turmeric, sweet onion, and aromatic ginger and garlic which all work together to create a truly unforgettable taste.

Ingredients At A Glance

Dried chana (garbanzo beans)  – Canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans also work well).

Onion & Tomato – Onions and tomatoes together form a tangy and sweet base of this dish.

Ginger-Garlic – Ginger and garlic are the aromatic stars of the curry. 

Spices – The right balance of spices is an important part of this recipe. You will need turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin,powder, coriander powder and an amazing secret ingredient: pomegranate powder!

Everest Chana Masala – This is what I use. You will get in in any Indian grocery store or online. It will make your chana masala absolutely restaurant-style. 

Tea bag – This is absolutely optional and provides that restaurant-style look.  

Oil – You can use mustard oil, avocado oil, or any neutral cooking oil.

How To Make Chana Masala

Indulge in the rich and irresistible flavors of chana masala with these easy-to-follow cooking steps.

  • Prepare the Garbanzo Beans: Soak one cup of garbanzo beans in plenty of water overnight. They will triple in size, yielding three cups of chana in the morning.
  • Cook the Garbanzo Beans: The next day, either boil or pressure cook the soaked beans until tender. Boiling takes approximately 40 minutes, while pressure cooking takes around 20 minutes. When using a pressure cooker, ensure the water covers the chana completely. If you want a darker chana masala color, place a tea bag in the pot before cooking the chana.
  • Make the Masala: Remove the tea bag (if used) and set aside the boiled chana. Grind together onion, garlic, ginger, and tomato to prepare the masala.
  • Saute the Masala: Heat oil in a kadai (pan). Once the oil is hot, add the ground masala and saute for 3-4 minutes or until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add turmeric, chili powder, salt, and Everest Chana Masala. Cook the masala for a few more minutes.
  • Combine and Cook: When the oil starts leaving from the sides, add the cooked chana along with the water it was cooked in. Thoroughly mix everything together. Add more water if desired. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Final Touches: After 10 minutes, remove the cover and add pomegranate powder. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt if needed.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves if desired.

Your flavorful and aromatic chana masala is ready to be enjoyed!

Some Expert Tips For Preparing Chana Masala

  1. Use freshly ground spices: For the best flavor, consider grinding your own spices. Freshly ground cumin and coriander will add an extra aromatic punch to your chana masala.
  2. Experiment with additional spices: While the recipe calls for Everest Chana Masala spice blend, feel free to unleash your creativity. Add a pinch of garam masala, amchur (dried mango) powder, or kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) for an extra layer of complexity and depth.
  3. Balance the flavors: Chana Masala is all about achieving a harmonious balance of flavors. Adjust the amount of spices, salt, and tanginess from tomatoes or pomegranate powder to suit your taste preferences. Don’t hesitate to add a touch of sweetness with a pinch of sugar or jaggery if desired.
  4. Let it simmer: While the 10-minute cooking time is sufficient to blend the flavors, consider simmering the chana masala for a bit longer on low heat. This allows the spices to meld together even more and results in a richer and more flavorful dish.
  5. Garnish with love: A sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves adds a vibrant touch to the final dish. If you’re a fan of heat, chop some green chilies and garnish your chana masala to give it an extra kick. Or if you’re in the mood for zest, sprinkle on some julienned strips of ginger. Alternately, you can saute the ginger slices in oil on medium heat for a couple of minutes till it becomes fragrant and then use it as garnish.
  6. Pair it perfectly: Chana masala pairs wonderfully with naan, rice, or roti. Serve it with a side of tangy pickles, a cooling raita, or a squeeze of lemon juice for a well-rounded meal.
  7. Balance seasoning with lemon juice: If the curry feels a bit more salty than you’d like, squeeze some fresh lemon juice to neutralize the salt.

Remember, cooking is an art, and chana masala can be your canvas. Feel free to experiment, adjust ingredients to your liking, and make it your own flavor masterpiece!

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Chana Masala

  • Author: Mish
  • Total Time: 65 mins + Soaking Time
  • Yield: 6 1x


Chana Masala is a tantalizing North Indian dish that combines robust spices with protein-rich chickpeas.


  • 1 cup Dried chana (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 pods garlic, minced or grated
  • 1-inch ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 big tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder( optional)
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1.5 teaspoon Everest Chana Masala
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate powder (anardana powder)
  • 1 tea bag (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. Soak the garbanzo beans in plenty of water overnight. Chana triples in size so this 1 cup will give you 3 cups of chana in the morning.
  2. Next day either boil or pressure cook the beans  Boiling takes a longer time about 40 minutes. Pressure cooking should be around 20 minutes. If you’re pressure cooking, make sure the water covers the chana fully before starting. Drop a tea bag in the pot before cooking the chana if you want a darker chana masala color ( optional).
  3. Remove the tea bag (if using), after the chana is boiled.
  4. Blend together the onion, garlic, ginger, and tomato to make the masala base.
  5. Next, heat oil and add the ground masala and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add turmeric, chili powder, salt, and the Everest Chana Masala spice blend. Mix well.
  7. Add the cooked chickpeas (chana) with the water it was cooked in. Mix everything well. 
  8. Cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes.
  9. Open the cover and add the pomegranate powder. Gently mix.
  10. Check for salt.
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  12. You can also cut some fresh ginger in julienne strips and saute in a bit of oil and add as a garnish or just add the julienned ginger strips without sauteing.


Sprinkling some fresh finely chopped onions and lemon juice really elevates the dish.

Sometimes I add tamarind chutney too as a garnish.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins + 8 hrs (Soaking Time)
  • Cook Time: 55 mins

Keywords: Chana Masala, easy chana masala, chole masala, chickpea curry, garbanzo beans curry

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