Chana Masala / Chickpea Curry

An essential vegetarian dish bursting with classic flavour.

Chickpea curry is a very special vegetarian dish that non-vegetarians are also sure to love. It is an incredibly versatile dish as it can be paired with all kinds of roti. It can be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner. I took quite a long time to develop this recipe and a lot of trial and error to get it right. It is also the perfect protein dish for vegetarians.

The dish does take some time to prepare, as with all tomato based gravies, to bring in the richness it needs. However, it is still a light dish and not heavy at all.

How to prepare chickpea curry in 4 steps

  1. Cook chickpeas
  2. Then grind onions, tomato and cashews
  3. Next, prepare the curry base
  4. Cook chickpeas in the curry base

Check out the video here!

What to serve with chickpea curry

Can be served with bhatura, poori, or any type of Indian flat bread. Also, it can be served in plain boiled rice or ghee rice.

Special Garam Masala

This dish gets its unique flavour from special garam masala. A unique blend of Indian spices, it imparts an authentic flavour to this dish. Prepare ahead and store in airtight containers. This is used in a variety of my dishes like the classic butter chicken.

Now to make it, warm and grind the ingredients listed to a fine powder.

  1. Cumin – 25 gms
  2. Cinnamon – 25 gms
  3. Black cardamom – 25 gms
  4. Green cardamom – 5 gms
  5. Cloves – 10 gms
  6. Pepper – 10 gms
  7. Shahi jeera – 10 gms
  8. Mace – 3
  9. Bay leaves – 6
  10. Nutmeg – 1
  11. Dry ginger – 5 gms

After preparing, store the special garam masala in an airtight container for upto one month. It will stay longer but the flavour might lessen with time.

Chana Masala / Chickpea Curry

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 25 min Total Time 40 mins Servings: 8



  1. Soak one cup of chickpeas overnight

  2. Add one cup of water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4th tsp  turmeric. Pressure cook until the chickpeas are soft. 

  3. Grind onions with ginger to a fine paste. Keep aside. 

  4. Blanch tomatoes, peel and grind. Keep aside. To blanch tomatoes, boil 1.4 litres of water in a saucepan. Once the water comes to a boil, add tomatoes and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the skin starts to break. Drain the tomatoes and immediately immerse them in cold water for 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Once it comes to room temp, chop into big pieces and grind. 

  5. Grind cashews with yogurt to a fine paste

  6. Heat a heavy wok, add oil. Saute ground onion paste until browned. 

  7. Now add ground tomatoes and cook until oil starts to leave the sides of the pan. 

  8. Add tomato paste and ground cashews. Cook for 5 minutes. 

  9. Add chilli powder, cumin powder and half of the garam masala

  10. Add little water or chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Cook for 2 min. 

  11. Add cooked chickpea along with the water in which it was cooked. Simmer for 10 minutes. 

  12. Add coriander leaves, chaat masala and the rest of the garam masala

  13. Adjust salt and add more water if needed. Bring it to boil. 

  14. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and chopped green chillies.


Chickpeas - Pressure cook chickpeas with water for one whistle. Lower the flame and cook for 7-8 min. Switch off and open once it cools down. 

Blanch tomatoes - Using a sharp knife, slit a shallow X on the bottom of each tomato before adding to boiling water. 

Chaat masala, tomato paste - I have used store bought chaat masala and tomato paste in this recipe. 

Homemade chicken stock imparts umami flavour. 

Keywords: chickpea curry, chana masala, chola masala, kadala curry, main course, vegetarian dishes, party recipes, Indian recipes, North Indian recipes
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