Make this homemade Punjabi Restaurant Style Chana Masala using my easy and simple recipe. This recipe gets ready in under 30 minutes and is and gluten-free too. Just skip yogurt and ghee to make it vegan as well.
Here are some more Chickpea Recipes, that can be prepared for your everyday meals – Chana Madra, Palak Chole, Punjabi Chole, Achari Chole, and Amritsari Chole.
About This Recipe
Chana Masala is a famous North Indian Punjabi dish made using dry chickpeas/kabuli chana, yogurt, tomato puree, and everyday spices.
It pairs well with any Indian bread or rice preparation. It is slightly black in color and a bit different from other Chole Recipes, as it gets its dark brown color from dry amla and the whole spices.
Since dry Amla or gooseberry is a little tricky to find these days, I use tea bags to get that black colour and the method doesn’t disappoint. Whole spices used in the dish makes it rich and aromatic.
Each and every household has its own way of preparing chana and after trying many recipes myself, I have stopped at this one, because it’s just delicious and tastes just like your Restaurant Style Chana Masala.
Not only it’s delicious, but Chana, aka Chickpeas, has many benefits. They are high in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They improve digestion, are good for weight management, and aid in diabetes management.
This Chana Masala is,
- High In Protein
- Easy to make
- Perfect for special meals
- A North Indian favorite
Chickpeas – Chickpeas are high in protein, making it a perfect ingredient to include in your daily meals, especially for vegetarians.
For boiling the Chickpeas – Chickpeas are boiled along with some ingredients, to get a dark color. To boil the Chana, you will need Black Tea Bag, Salt, Cinnamon, Cloves, Black Cardamom, Water, and Baking Soda.
While the tea adds a dark colour in the chickpeas, the whole spices along with the colours adds a nice flavour and aroma to the boiled chickpeas.
Yogurt – Yogurt adds a nice tangy flavor along with a creamy texture in the curry. Before adding yogurt, taste the same, if it’s too sour, don’t use it. Also, whisk the yogurt properly before using it.
Tomato Puree – Along with yogurt, we will also add tomato puree which adds a nice sweet tangy taste in the curry and make the base of the curry even more delicious.
Dry Spices – To enhance the flavor of this Punjabi Chana Masala, we will use some everyday spice powder such as coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, ginger powder, garam masala powder, and anardana powder (dry pomegranate powder).
Do not miss on any of these spice powders, because each and every spice does its magic to make this curry scrumptious.
Ghee/Oil – I have used a combination of ghee and oil, but you can even use one of them to make this Punjabi Chickpea Curry.
Kasuri Methi – This is my favorite ingredients, as soon as you add Kasuri Methi, it instantly level up the taste of this dish. Crush it between your hands before adding in the curry. Check out my homemade Kasuri Methi recipe.
Other Ingredients – Apart from the above-mentioned ingredients, we will also need ginger, green chilies, onions, ginger garlic paste, and hing in this Chana Masala.
Step by Step Recipe
Wash the chana and soak in water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water and wash the chana once again. Add them in a pressure cooker along with tea bags, water, salt, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, and baking soda. Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles on medium-low heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release.
Heat ghee and oil in a pan. Use only oil if making a vegan version.
Add hing and onion and fry until onions turn slightly brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Now add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, ginger powder, garam masala powder and anardana powder and fry until oil starts to separate.
Add little water if the masala gets too dry.
Add yogurt and tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the cooked chana along with the water in which they were cooked in the pan.
Add some more water if the chana are too dry. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add kasuri methi, green chilli and ginger juliennes. Serve hot with kulcha or bhature.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make chana masala in an instant pot, soak the chickpeas overnight. Next morning, drain and keep the soaked chana aside.
Add oil in the instant pot and press the sauté button. Allow the oil to heat for a minute. Now add hing and onion and stir-fry for 5- 6 minutes, till the onions start to brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Add salt, cinnamon, cloves, and black cardamom and sauté for a minute. Now add dry masala and fry until oil starts to separate. Add yogurt and tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add chana along with water and tea bags. Secure the lid and close the pressure valve. Set the timer for 15 minutes at high pressure. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and add Kasuri methi, green chili, and ginger juliennes. Mix properly and garnish with coriander before serving.
Yes, chana masala is vegan, if you don’t use ghee and yogurt. Just don’t use ghee and instead use vegetable oil to make it and you have a vegan dish ready. Replace the yogurt with chopped fresh tomatoes.
Traditionally, this recipe uses only White Chickpeas, but you can go ahead and make the same curry with Black Chickpeas too. Follow the same process, and you can even avoid adding the tea bag while boiling the Black Chickpeas.
Yes, you can use Canned Chickpeas. In the case of Canned Chickpeas, do not soak them overnight. You can use directly add them to the masala.
Soak the Chickpeas overnight or for minimum of 8 hours.
You can even serve it with chapatti or laccha paratha with some pickled onion on the side.
I like to serve Achari Aloo along with it as it pairs very well with it.
Punjabi Chana Masala will last in the fridge for 2-3 days, when stored in an air tight container. Add a little water while reheating it in a pan or microwave.
You can freeze it for up to a month. To freeze, make sure you cook down the chana masala and pack it in airtight containers or individual portions in freezer-safe bags.
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Chana Masala Recipe
- 1 cup Chickpeas / Chole
- 1 Black Tea Bag
- 3 cups Water
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2-3 Clove
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1 pinch Baking Soda (Optional)
- 3 tablespoon Ghee
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Hing
- 1 cup Onion (Grated)
- 2 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
- 2 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- ½ teaspoon Roasted Cumin Powder
- ½ teaspoon Ginger Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 tablespoon Anardana Powder
- ¼ cup Yogurt (Whisked)
- ¼ cup Tomato Puree
- 2 tablespoon Kasuri Methi
- 2-3 Green Chilli (Slit into half)
- Ginger Juliennes
- Wash the chana and soak in water for 6-8 hours.
- Drain the water and wash the chana once again.
- Add them in a pressure cooker along with tea bag, water, salt, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom and baking soda.
- Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles on medium low heat.
- Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release.
- Heat ghee and oil in a pan.
- Add hing and onion and fry until onions turn slightly brown.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
- Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, ginger powder, garam masala powder and anardana powder and fry until oil starts to separate.
- Add little water if the masala gets too dry.
- Add yogurt and tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked chana along with the water in which they were cooked in the pan.
- Add some more water if the chana are too dry.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add kauri methi, green chilli and ginger juliennes.
- Serve hot with kulcha or bhature.