Spice Up Your Kitchen: How To Make Chana Masala 2024

Want to know how to make chana masala, a hearty Indian food? Try chana masala, a nutritious and filling lentil stew with a spicy tomato and onion sauce. You won’t believe how easy it is to whip up this vegetarian curry—a mainstay in Indian cooking. Make real chana masala that everyone will rave about by following our detailed recipe.

How To Make Chana Masala
Source: Six Hungry Feet

How To Make Chana Masala?


  • Aromatics: a dry bay leaf, cumin seeds, black cardamom, and vegetable oil (not coconut or olive oil).
  • Flavor Foundation: Onion, paste made from ginger and garlic, and fresh tomatoes pureed.
  • Spices: Garam masala with amchur or chana masala powder, paprika, cayenne (optional), turmeric (optional), and ground cumin and coriander (optional).
  • Main: Popcorn beans, also known as chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
  • To finish, you can add salt, chopped cilantro, and optionally a squeeze of lemon juice.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Sauté the Herbs: Get the cumin seeds aromatic by stir-frying them in a big pot of heated oil. Along with a touch of salt, sauté chopped onions until they turn a golden brown color.

Build the Flavor Base: Sauté for one minute after adding the ginger-garlic paste. Toss in the tomato puree and continue cooking for another five minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

How To Make Chana Masala
Source: indianhealthyrecipes

Elevate It: You can use amchur to make chana masala powder or garam masala, and then add ground coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, and/or both. Add 5 more minutes of cooking time.

How To Make Chana Masala
Source: indianhealthyrecipes

Get the Chickpeas Started: Add 1 cup of water (or more or less depending on thickness preference) and cooked chickpeas. Stir to combine. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

How To Make Chana Masala
Source: indianhealthyrecipes

Get the Texture and Flavor Just Right: To make the curry thicker and add texture, mash some of the chickpeas with a ladle.

In the End: A squeeze of lemon juice (optional), chopped cilantro, and chana masala (or garam masala) should be stirred in.

How To Make Chana Masala
Source: indianhealthyrecipes

Experts Tips

  • Pick the Proper Spices: The taste is most faithfully reproduced by using chana masala powder. To give garam masala a little tang, add amchur.
  • Blanch the chickpeas: Make sure the chickpeas are soft and cooked all the way through before mashing.
  • Avoid Skipping the Mash: The curry is thickened and given body by mashing some chickpeas.

Tips for Serving:

  • Authentic Indian Breads: Roti, chapati, naan, fragrant jeera rice, or light basmati rice are the classic sides to accompany chana masala. Perfectly complementing the rich, savory sauce, these neutral bases provide for a filling and well-rounded dinner.
  • North Indian Influence: Snack on some deep-fried flatbread, such poori or bhatura, with your chana masala for a North Indian treat. Their lightness and subtle sweetness go well with the spicy curry. The addition of potato curry as a side dish amps up the richness and offers a nice contrast in texture.
  • Cooling Counterpoint: A vegan cucumber raita would be perfect to offset the spicy heat. A refreshing contrast and palate cleanser between courses, the icy yogurt base with crunchy cucumbers and fragrant herbs is a delight.
How To Make Chana Masala
Source: delish knowledge

Storage and Reheating

Like many curries, chana masala is usually at its best the next day, when the flavors have had more time to develop and combine.

To extend the shelf life of leftovers, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for no more than four days. Reheat on low heat in the stovetop, adding a dash of water to thin it out if needed.

When frozen, chana masala retains all of its flavor and texture for up to four months. Put it in freezer bags or airtight containers, making sure there’s room for it to expand when frozen. Before reheating in the microwave or stovetop, let it thaw overnight in the fridge.


The fun of making chana masala, as much as the accuracy of the measures, is what makes this meal special. Feel free to taste-test with varying amounts of veggies, spices, and seasonings, or to try other combinations of vegetables. As the chana masala simmers, you’ll uncover fresh layers of flavor and make a dish that’s totally yours. Get all your supplies together, dive headfirst into the process, and relish the joy of creating a culinary masterpiece that will satisfy your hunger and your spirit.

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