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Authentic Chana Masala garnished with cilantro and julienned ginger in a black skillet

Authentic Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Curry)

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This authentic Indian & Pakistani-style Chana Masala recipe is vibrant, with just the right amount of tanginess, and rich in spicy flavor. This recipe makes tender, flavorful chickpeas in a perfectly spiced curry and requires simple ingredients that are commonly used in South Asian cooking. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that’s healthy, naturally vegan, and gluten-free.
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Diet Gluten Free, Halal, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword authentic chickpea curry, Chana Masala
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 220


  • Saucepan


  • 1/4 cup neutral oil such as avocado or grapeseed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1-inch piece ginger crushed
  • 1 small green chili pepper (such as Serrano or Thai chili) sliced
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped or puréed in a food processor
  • 2 cans (around 15-oz each) chickpeas rinsed and drained (See Note 1)
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt or table salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (or sub baking soda) (optional - for extra tender chickpeas) (See Note 2)


  • 1/2 tsp garam masala or chaat masala
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp cilantro leaves chopped
  • julienned ginger optional, for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper optional, for garnish


  • Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and onion. Sauté for 7-8 minutes, until golden. If the mixture gets dry, deglaze with 1-2 tablespoons of water.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili pepper and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water (if needed), and add all the spice powders. Give it a few stirs to roast the spices, and then add the tomatoes. Continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Mix in the chickpeas, baking powder (if using), salt, and 2 cups of water.
  • Raise the heat to high to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and let cook for 25-30 minutes, until the chickpeas are very tender.
  • Uncover and raise the heat to high. Use a wooden spatula to slightly crush the chickpeas. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes to desired consistency. Taste and adjust salt and seasoning. Turn off the heat and add the garam masala or chaat masala, lemon juice, and cilantro leaves. Sprinkle with julienned ginger and black pepper, if desired.



Note 1: This is about 3 cups cooked chickpeas (~475g).
Note 2: I prefer baking powder as it's less strong. If you'd rather not add it to the curry, marinate the drained chickpeas in the baking powder (or soda) before rinsing and adding them to the curry. You can also just add them without rinsing, which I'm inclined to do!


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 823IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg