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or Chana Masala, if you prefer.   Very popular across the world, this Punjabi dish is one of my favourite curries.   I’ll often choose this dish as a baseline test when I try new restaurants and takeaways – although this is a relatively simple dish, Chana Masala can be over complicated or ruined with inappropriate spice blends.  I’ve cooked many variations over the years, but this is definitely one of the est to date.

The Chana Masala Powder I use is quite hot, so I don’t add the green chillies.  Feel free to throw a couple of extras in i you need the chilli kick!

Serve with breads for a Chole Bhature (see my recipe for Beetroot Puri if you’re feeling a need for some colour!)

Serves 2-3 as a main dish


  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 Green Cardamom pods
  • 2″ Cinnamon Stick
  • Small piece of Mace
  • 4 whole Cloves
  • 4 whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 6 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1″ Ginger, grated
  • 2 Green Chilli – optional
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Chana Masala Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 cans Chickpeas, drained
  • Water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Handful chopped Coriander leaves


  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the whole Garam Masala (Bay, Black Pepper, Mace, Cloves, Cinnamon & Cardamom) and the cumin seeds.  Cook for a few seconds until the cumin starts to pop
  • Add the onion & salt and stir well.  Cook for a few minutes to get a little colour on the onions, but DONT BURN THE SPICES!
  • Add the ginger and garlic (plus the green chilli if you want additional heat) and stir well before adding the tomatoes and remaining spice powders
  • Stir and cook gently until the tomatoes have broken down fully into the sauce.  By then, the sauce will be dry so ensure it doesn’t stick
  • Add the chickpeas and enough water to give a sauce with a good consistency
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 15 minutes
  • Stir in the lemon juice and coriander leaves, then serve

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