Chana Masala

Chana Masala.jpg

A traditional Indian and Pakistani dish of cooked chickpeas in a spicy and tangy tomato sauce. Is also known as channa masala, chole masala, or chholay … depending on where you’re from.


  • 2 cans (14oz) chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)

  • 1 can (14oz) whole, peeled, San Marzano tomatoes

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated

  • 4 fresh green chilies, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp chickpea flour or wheat flour

  • 1 tsp toasted cumin seed

  • 2 tsp black mustard seed

  • 1 sweet onion, diced

  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black peppercorns

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala (divided)

  • Himalayan pink salt (fine grain)


  1. Open chickpeas, drain, rinse and set aside

  2. Combine garlic, ginger, green chilies, 1Tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt in a mortar and pestle and grind until you get a fine paste consistency.

  3. Heat ghee in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add black mustard and cumin seeds to ghee, until they start to become aromatic (about 20 seconds)

  4. Add chopped onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the flour … this should add to the caramelization process

  5. Add 1 Tbsp of water after the onions have browned to help loosen the brown bits from the caramelization on the bottom of the pan.

  6. Keep cooking the onions until they become a deep brown color (about 10 mins)

  7. Once the onions are done, add the garlic, ginger, chilies paste and stir to combine

  8. Add the coriander, black pepper, turmeric and 1 tsp garam masala and stir

  9. Add can of tomatoes, and using your spoon (or ladle), smash them up to cook for about 10 mins

  10. Add chickpeas with 1/2 cup water to the above mixture

  11. Bring the entire mixture to a simmer and stir until it starts bubbling

  12. Cook for about 30 mins until the liquid becomes thickened

  13. Stir in the remaining garam masala and lemon juice

  14. Season to taste with Himalayan pink salt

  15. Serve with basmati rice or Naan bread

  16. Garnish with cilantro if you like.

    Things you'll need for this recipe...