Chana Curry
Chana Curry
4.97 from 57 votes
This authentic chana masala is a popular breakfast recipe all across India and Pakistan. Fresh chickpeas are lathered in a delicious and spicy masala sauce. Serve alongside a side of puri for a traditional desi breakfast.
Chana Curry

Chana Curry, a traditional Indian dish bursting with flavor and warmth, has been a staple in many households for generations.

Originating from the Indian subcontinent, this dish offers a delightful blend of spices and aromatics, making it a favorite among both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.

Crafting a perfect Chana Curry requires a balance of spices, patience, and love. While it may seem daunting at first, fear not, as this recipe is suitable for beginners willing to embark on a culinary adventure.

In this recipe, tender chickpeas are simmered in a fragrant tomato and onion-based sauce, infused with aromatic spices like turmeric, cumin, and chili powder.

The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and hearty curry that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you’re craving a comforting meal for a cozy night in or planning a gathering with friends and family, Chana Curry is the perfect dish to satisfy your hunger and warm your soul.

Expert Tip: Experiment with additional ingredients to customize your Chana Curry to your liking. Consider adding diced potatoes, spinach, or bell peppers for extra flavor and nutrition.


Chickpeas (Chana): Chickpeas serve as the heart of this dish, providing a hearty and satisfying texture. They’re rich in protein and fiber, making this curry not only delicious but also nutritious.

Olive Oil: Olive oil adds a smooth richness to the curry while also imparting a subtle fruity flavor. It helps to sauté the onions and tomatoes, enhancing their natural sweetness.

Onions: Onions form the base of the curry, lending a sweet and savory depth of flavor. When cooked down, they become soft and caramelized, adding richness and complexity to the dish.

Garlic Paste: Garlic adds a bold, pungent flavor to the curry, complementing the sweetness of the onions and tomatoes. It also offers numerous health benefits, including boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes provide acidity and brightness to the curry, balancing out the richness of the chickpeas and spices. They break down as they cook, forming a luscious sauce that coats the chickpeas beautifully.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi): Turmeric not only adds a vibrant yellow hue to the curry but also offers earthy undertones and a subtle bitterness. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties and adds depth to the flavor profile.

Chili Powder: Chili powder brings heat and spice to the curry, adding a kick of flavor without overwhelming the dish. Adjust the amount according to your preference for spiciness.

Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and helps to balance out the dish. Be mindful not to add too much, as you can always adjust the seasoning later.

Cumin Powder (Jeera): Cumin adds a warm, nutty flavor and a hint of smokiness to the curry. It pairs perfectly with the other spices and elevates the overall taste of the dish.

Green Chilies: Green chilies provide freshness and a subtle heat to the curry. You can adjust the amount depending on your spice tolerance.

Coriander (For garnish): Fresh coriander adds a pop of color and freshness to the finished dish. It’s used as a garnish to add a final touch of flavor and visual appeal.

Expert Tip: For a creamier texture, mash some of the cooked chickpeas against the side of the pot using a spoon or potato masher before serving. This will thicken the curry and create a luscious consistency that coats the chickpeas beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

  • Enjoy Chana Curry with steamed rice for a classic and comforting meal. The fluffy rice pairs perfectly with the rich and flavorful curry, creating a satisfying combination.
  • Serve Chana Curry with warm, freshly-made roti or naan bread for a hearty and filling meal. The soft and chewy texture of the bread is ideal for soaking up the delicious curry sauce.
  • Pair Chana Curry with a side of crispy papadums or crunchy poppadoms for added texture and flavor contrast. The light and crispy papadums complement the creamy curry beautifully.
  • For a complete Indian feast, serve Chana Curry alongside other traditional dishes such as vegetable biryani, cucumber raita, and mango chutney. This will create a colorful and diverse spread that is sure to impress your guests.

Expert Tip: To enhance the flavor of the Chana Curry, toast the whole spices such as cumin seeds and coriander seeds before grinding them into a powder. This extra step helps release their essential oils, resulting in a more aromatic and flavorful curry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook Chana Curry?

Chana Curry typically takes around 1 hour to cook, but the cooking time may vary depending on factors such as the freshness of the chickpeas and the desired level of tenderness. Be patient and allow the flavors to develop slowly for the best results.

Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried ones?

Yes, you can use canned chickpeas as a time-saving alternative. However, keep in mind that canned chickpeas are already cooked, so you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Simply skip the soaking and boiling steps and proceed directly to adding the canned chickpeas to the curry.

Is Chana Curry spicy?

The level of spiciness in Chana Curry can be adjusted according to your preference. This recipe includes chili powder and green chilies for heat, but you can reduce the amount of spice if you prefer a milder flavor. Feel free to customize the heat level to suit your taste buds.

Can I make Chana Curry in advance?

Yes, Chana Curry can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. In fact, the flavors tend to develop even further after sitting overnight, making it a perfect make-ahead dish for busy weeknights or meal prep.

Can I freeze Chana Curry?

Yes, Chana Curry freezes well and can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Simply allow the curry to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. When ready to enjoy, thaw the curry overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

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Chana Curry

Chana Curry

by Nabeela Kauser
This authentic chana masala is a popular breakfast recipe all across India and Pakistan. Fresh chickpeas are lathered in a delicious and spicy masala sauce.Serve alongside a side of puri for a traditional desi breakfast.
4.97 from 57 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 374 kcal


  • 500 g Chickpeas Chana
  • 150 ml Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Cumin Powder Jeera
  • 1 Green Chillies
  • 600 ml Water
  • 1 handful Coriander For garnish


  • If using fresh chickpeas, then leave to soak in at least 600ml of water overnight
  • Add the oil into a pan and heat on medium heat until warm
  • Add the diced onions and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until softened and golden brown
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes have softened.
  • Add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garlic paste and green chilli then cook the spices for 3-4 minutes
  • Remove 100ml of the water from the chickpeas and add the pan to ensure that the spices do not burn and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Drain the chickpeas and set aside the remaining water then add the drained chickpeas to the mixture and reduce the heat to medium before cooking for 2-3 minutes
  • Add 500ml of the drained chickpea water and cook for 1 hour until the oil has risen to the top which will indicate that the curry is cooked – the chickpeas may take longer than 1 hour to cook and if the water has evaporated you may add more water to help cook the chickpeas
  • Add the cumin powder then cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Finely chop the coriander then add into the pan and cook 1-2 minutes
  • Serve alongside puri and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 9gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 435mgPotassium: 451mgFibre: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 472IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chana, Chickpeas, Cooking, Curry, Food, Lentils, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (10)


Hi, This chana curry is an absolute delight! The combination of tender chickpeas, aromatic spices, and rich, flavorful curry sauce creates a perfect harmony of taste and texture.

Each bite is a burst of savory goodness that leaves you satisfied and craving more. A must-try for anyone who appreciates the heartiness and warmth of a well-prepared curry.

Nabeela Kauser

Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the chana curry. It’s definitely a favorite in our household too. If you have any other recipes you’d like to recommend or try, feel free to share!

Nabeela Kauser

Yes, you can definitely cook this in an Instant Pot. Just remember to reduce the cooking time accordingly. Enjoy!

Nabeela Kauser

Thanks for your comment! It’s easy to miss sometimes, but coriander is in the recipe ingredients list and video. Enjoy making the recipe!

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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