Easy Chole Masala | Channa Masala

March 22, 2022 (Last Updated: March 4, 2024)

Chole Masala aka Channa Masala is the BEST to eat chickpeas. Move over salads, hummus, and all other fancy ways to have chickpeas. This recipe is perfected after many trials, so I can assure you this is well tested and tried! I started making this way about 2 years ago and since then – never tried another recipe for chole masala!

In this recipe, the chickpeas are cooked first separately with some whole spices, then cooked again with onions, tomatoes and powdered spices, and finally, a spicy tadka is added. The flavor is built slowly and the final result is MIND BLOWING, to say the least.

Chole Masala | Channa Masala | Chickpeas Curry

Easy chole masala or channa masala recipe using readymade spices and a fiery tadka at the end!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword 30 minute meals, chickpeas, chole, sides
Prep Time 40 minutes
Total Time 8 hours
Servings 4


For cooking chickpeas

  • ½ cup chickpeas rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cups water

For Chole Masala

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp hing/asafoetida

Onion – Ginger – Garlic paste

  • 2 onions two medium sized onions, or 1 large one
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger

Tomato paste

  • 2 tomatoes two medium-sized tomatoes, or 1 large one


  • 2 tsp red chilli powder i use kashmri chilli, that is not very spicy. adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp corainder powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • ¼ tsp garam masala

For tadka

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 green chillies slit
  • ½ tsp chili powder


  • Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. Pressure cook adding the whole spices, water and a little salt for 4 whistles. The chickpeas must be cooked, but must still have a bite.
    Read instructions below if using canned chickpeas
  • Grind onion, ginger and garlic to a paste and keep aside
  • Grind tomato to a puree and keep aside
  • In a pressure cooker, add the oil followed by cumin and hing. Add the onion paste and lower the flame. Add a little water to deglaze if required.
  • Cook this paste for 3-4 minutes on a low flame.
  • Add the tomato puree and some water to consistency. Cook again on a low flame for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the chilli powder, cumin, coriander, salt and amchur to a cup and dilute with 3 tbsp water. (all spices except kasoori methi and garam masala – that is used in the end)
  • Add the spiced water mixture to the gravy, followed by the cooked chickpeas.
  • Mix well and add enough water to consistency. Reduce flame, and cook for 1 whistle. Alternatively, you can let it simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes.
  • Add the kasoori methi and garam masala.
  • Make a tadka in ghee, add garlic, chili and once it cooks – add the chili powder. Pour the tadka on top of the garam masala and kasoori methi. Mix well.
  • Turn off heat. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve!
  • This is excellent with Jeera Rice, rotis and even on toast!

I urge you to try this recipe! Once you do it this way, you will no longer go back to sauteeing chopped onions and tomatoes. This is much quicker ( grinding instead of sauteeing) but also makes the texture of the final gravy so wonderful. Keep the flame on low throughout the cooking process to ensure the pastes do not burn and if it seems to, deglaze with some water.

Using canned chickpeas

If using canned chickpeas, add the cinnamon and clove along with cumin and cook together. There is no need to pressure cook again, so let the whole gravy simmer for 10 minutes.

Forgot to soak chickpeas?

Rinse and soak in hot boiling water for 30 minutes. Cook the chickpeas as given for 6 whistles ( or 10 mins in IP)

Using Instant Pot?

To cook chickpeas – 10 mins Manual mode, natural pressure release. Then, switch to Saute mode – cook the gravy as given, add cooked chickpeas and cook on Manual again for 3 minutes.

If using canned chickpeas and IP – simply make the gravy, add canned chickpeas and let it simmer for 10 minutes!

A note on the spice powders used

For a small household like mine, I refrain from buying specialty spice mixes like Chole Masala. We also do not consume these dishes often to warrant making a batch fresh, so my preference is to use the spice powders I have and create a dish. That’s what I have done here – it may not be as ‘authentic’ as using a freshly ground masala, but it is absolutely delicious!

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Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help me learn more about your preferences and will help other readers.

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  • Reply
    August 29, 2023 at 7:04 pm

    Loved this recipe. Made a few from your blog. All were great. Hope you keep posting.

  • Reply
    Sankalp food
    October 18, 2023 at 12:14 am

    Its good thing in this recipe you used chikpeas and thats diffrent flavour to make in your recipe . I loved your recipe content it will help me a lot making interesting chana masala. your chana masla is good to eat with rice .

  • Reply
    Sankalp food
    October 27, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    I loved this recipe . Its amazing chana masla recipe.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2024 at 1:49 pm

    You usually provide onions & tomatoes in cup measurements too. If it’s possible could you provide that in this recipe too?

    • Reply
      March 4, 2024 at 12:44 pm

      think about 3/4 cup of each. I have a video of it for you to watch, so you can get an idea. Also good feedback – will measure in a cup next time and add it here. Thank you.

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