Punjabi Chana Masala

Spicy Chickpea Curry

Punjabi Chana Masala
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa
Punjabi Chana Masala is a famous north Indian Curry which is the recipe of choice in every Punjabi home in India. Be it marriage party or family get together, Chana Masala is must in menu.

I have special space for this spicy, tangy treat in my heart. It takes me back to my childhood memories of fighting with my brother over that last bite of Poori (Indian Fried Bread) with Chana Masala and then crying so badly on not getting it (my bro won almost always :) , but he can never see me weeping, so you know, who won at last).

In India, housewives have competition of who will make more dark and rich color sauce of Chana Maslala, Darker the color means spicy sauce. However, the recipe I am sharing with you is mild spicy.

Pairing Ideas:

Poori Basmati Jeera Rice Cucumber Raita

Punjabi Chana Masala

Punjabi Chana Masala
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Indian ()
Serves: 4



  • 1. Boil or pressure cook pre-soaked chickpeas with 4 cups of water till chickpeas are tender and can be easily mashed with fingers. Once cooked, separate the cooking liquid from chickpeas and reserve for later use. Additional Notes: If in hurry, you can also use a good quality canned chickpeas.
  • Step for Recipe - Punjabi Chana Masala 2. Heat oil in a pan and added grated mixture of onion, ginger and garlic. Fry till onion are light brown in color.
  • Step for Recipe - Punjabi Chana Masala 3. Add Red pepper powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and fry for 2 minutes.
  • 4. Add Garam Masala and whole peppers (optional) and continue frying for 1 more minute.
  • Step for Recipe - Punjabi Chana Masala 5. Now add yogurt and mix well. Add 2 cups of liquid saved from cooking chickpeas, bring to boil and then turn the Gas Stove to medium heat.
    Step for Recipe - Punjabi Chana Masala 6. Add chickpeas, tamarind paste, salt, black pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes till almost all water has evaporated and chickpeas are softened.
  • Step for Recipe - Punjabi Chana Masala 7. Now add Chaat Masala, half moon onion slices and stir gently to combine.
    Step for Recipe - Punjabi Chana Masala 8. Serve hot with Poori or Roti and yogurt for a complete delicious meal.
Savita's Notes:
You can increase black pepper and garam masala to make it more spicy like one sold in restaurants.

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3 Responses

  1. Hey, can I use sliced tomatoes? And also that can this dish be cooked without coriander powder and tarmarind paste?
  2. Hi @Blaha, yes you can use canned chickpeas. I prefer to rinse my canned chickpeas get to rid of unpleasant canning liquid taste and excess sodium. In place of cooking liquid from dried chickpeas, use 3 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable stock and simmer for at least 10 more minutes for soft chickpea texture. Enjoy.
  3. Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried? How long should I cook in that case? Thanks Blaha