Channa masala – Indian chickpea curry

chana masala - chickpea curry.

Channa masala or chole is one of the best known Indian recipes across the globe. The ever popular chickpeas simmered in the tasty tomato onion sauce making it perfect with rice, naans or bread. It is also one of the easiest to make at home for anyone experimenting with Indian vegetarian recipes.

Why does this channa masala recipe work?

Authentic and easy- You will come across many versions of chickpea curries as it is one of the most popular ones. This channa masala is a family recipe that has been seen through a few generations and never failed to please. So you can see it is clearly authentic.
Vegan, gluten-free – the recipe has no dairy, no wheat-based elements in it. Simple straightforward elements make it useful under any gathering. 
Nutrition and delicious- With the health properties of chickpea as the main ingredient, this curry is one of the most favoured among the health-conscious as well. there are no fancy ingredients or any preservatives used in this recipe.
Instant pot, slow cooker and stovetop perfect – You can get a perfect channa masala each time whether you use a pan on the stovetop, add this to the slow-cooker or give it a quick pressure cook in the instant pot. 
Meal prep friendly – The curry stays well in the refrigerator for 4-6 days. It is freezer friendly for up to 3 months and thaws well too. 

What type of chickpea do I pick up for this curry?

Chickpeas come in three colours- white, brown and green. Typically for chickpea curry, I use white chickpeas which are also bigger in size than the other two. This is universally available and easy to get in most of the local groceries. The black chickpea also works well but stands a bit firmer than the white one. I prefer to use the brown ones for a salad or chaat. The green ones are more like peas so not very suitable for this recipe.

Starting from the dried chickpea – It is easy to store the dried chickpeas and use only a measure of what you need. But cooking the dried chickpea needs a bit of planning. My favourite method is to soak ( 4 hours)and cook it under pressure ( 25 minutes) ( instant pot or pressure cooker). I like to use the slow cooker when I like a creamier finish to the beans – again soak for 4 hours and 4 hours on high heat gets it done.

Using canned chickpeas- the canned ones are the easiest to make this recipe. It cuts down the making time considerably. The only concern you have to watch out for when using the canned beans is the salt levels. Usually, I drain the chickpeas, give them a rinse and then use them. You can also choose the chickpea cans which have no added salt to them. Drain them well and you can add them directly to the thawed bhuna masala.

Pre-prep the buna masala – The base sauce that builds this recipe is the buna masala. So prepped buna masala cuts down a lot of time making weeknight dinners. Here is the link for buna masala.

Channa masala

Channa masala or chickpea curry is one of the most popular indian recipes. Here is an authentic family recipe that is vegan and gluten free.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
cooking the dried chickpeas 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Course Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine diabetic friendly, gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2 people


  • Pressure cooker


To cook the dried chickpeas

  • 1/4 cup chickpea ( cooked and drained)
  • 2 cups drinking water ( for soaking the chickpeas)
  • 1 cup drinking water ( for cooking the chickpeas)
  • 1-2 pieces dried gooseberry ( amla or use 1 black tea bag)

To make the gravy

  • 1/2 cup aquafaba The cooking liquid from the chickpeas or use vegetable stock.
  • 1/2 cup buna masala

For the channa masala spice mix ( makes enough for 6-8 servings)

  • 1 medium bayleaf tej patta
  • 2 cloves laung
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick dalchini
  • 3-4 Black pepper kalimirch
  • 1/4 tsp carom seeds ajwain
  • 1 fennel seed saunf
  • 1 cumin seeds jeera
  • 1 coriander seeds
  • 1 dry red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp pomegranate seeds ( dried pomegranate seeds are used in indian cooking, Swap for dried mango powder if you dont have anardhana)


  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 4-5 pieces fresh ginger root (julliened)
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream


to make the masala mix

  • Dry roast the ingredients for the masala powder on a low heat.
  • Once crispy, let it cool.
  • Powder them together and set it aside till needed.

to cook the dried chickpeas

  • Soak the dried chickpeas for about 4-6 hours.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas after the time and pressure cook with thewaterand dried gooseberry ( indian pressure cooker) for 3-4 whistles.
  • Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally.

To make the channa masala

  • Into a deep pan add the thawed bunamasala and the aquafaba and bring it to a simmer.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas to this and mix well.
  • Adjust the salt, sprinkle 1/2tsp of teh masala powder.
  • Let this simmer for a 5-7 minutes.
  • Transfer the channa masala into a serving dish, garnish with coriander leaves, coconut creme and ginger julliene.
  • Serve warm. ( check out the pairing options given below)
    chana masala - chickpea curry.
Keyword Indian vegetarian dinner, Lunch recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

chickpea curry, chana masala

Serving suggestions for this channa masala.

Channa masala or chole masala is that one recipe you can pair literally with any grain or bread you have at hand.

Dinner bowls –When we have channa masala for dinner, kalonji rice features on the table for the carbs than the naan. So the dinner bowl contains the rice, this channa masala, shredded lettuce salad or kachumer and crispy papad.

With Indian breads -Of course, we love it with pooris, bhatura or triangle parathas. Then have laccha pyaaz with it for an authentic restaurant like feel.

As a chaat- never worry if you have leftover channa masala. It makes the best chaats ever. layer up some chips or papadis, add a scoop of the channa masala. Top it with the green chutney, tamarind chutney and sprinkle a layer of sev on it. With some chopped onions and tomatoes to finish it this is an even more exciting bowl than any other regular meal ( especially if you have teens at home).

As curry bun – Use the channa masala as the filling for the curry buns. They are one of the most wanted lunchboxes ideas. Click here to see how they are made. 

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C for Channa. Channa masala is one of the most sought out Indian curries that suited the A_Z recipes in the Hindi series perfectly, hence linking it to this group.

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Shobha Keshwani
2 years ago

Delicious chickpea curry. This is such a versatile one and can be relished with anything, roti, puri, bhatura, bread, rice, pulao.

2 years ago
Rating :

Chana masala looks appetising. We Love to have it with with roti or puri. Your recipe sounds fuss free .

2 years ago
Rating :

Chana Masala looks so flavorful. I liked the roasted masalas that you added and also make use of the aquafaba just the way you did. Would love to have with rice or puri and undoubtedly a glass of chaach.

2 years ago
Rating :

with that handy Bhuna Masala & Aquafaba as base, I can imagine this channa masala to be super fab. would love to mop it up with hot bhature! yummm !

Preeti Shridhar
2 years ago

Chana Masala looks delicious. Loved the way you have made your own spice mix for the gravy. There is nothing to beat homemade fresh spices. Bhuna Masala in the freezer has been a staple at my home for many years now. Makes Life so easy.

Hem lata Srivastava
Hem lata Srivastava
2 years ago
Rating :

Looks so tempting chana is my favorite and your chana masala curry makes me hungry will surely try it

2 years ago
Rating :

Simple yet delicious Chole masala recipe. A perfect and comfort food for me anytime. I love to have with hot pooris or sometime rice with pickle and salad. This looks absolutely delicious . Will try your version soon.

Sasmita Sahoo
2 years ago
Rating :

Chana masala looks so awesome and flavorful. The roasted masalas must be adding nice flavor here. I would love to have with some rice or even puri…..

Poonam Bachhav
2 years ago
Rating :

Chana masaka with homemade bhuna masala sounds absolutely flavorful and aromatic! Perfect pair with bhatura or poori.

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