Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chana Masala (Chole Batura, Chickpeas Curry)

November, when weather changes from colorful and crispy to dark and gloomy is the month of comfort food at my house. Comfort food of India almost inevitably call for some type of lentils/legumes. Among all, my favorite is the famous “Chana Masala or Chole” – this homey and hearty Punjabi fare will make even the most doubtful person worship Indian food. No wonder, it continues to be the most popular food item in Indian restaurants worldwide.


Soak 4 cups of chickpeas in water overnight or atleast 6 hours. Take them in a pressure cooker, add salt, one teabag(optional) and water and pressure cook them until they are just tender. Take care not to overcook. Drain the water and separate one cup of cooked chickpeas. Blend these separated ones into into thick, smooth paste with little water.
2 cups of finely chopped ripe, juicy tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped lengthwise
1 tablespoon of premade Chana masala powder (Badshah or any other brand from an Indian store)
½ teaspoon of red chilli powder and salt
¼ teaspoon of turmeric
Fresh cilantro and lime juice – for garnish

Cooked Chickpeas, tomatoes, pureed chickpea paste, cilantro, onion, red chilli powder, salt, chana masala powder(Badshah brand) and turmeric


1. Heat one teaspoon of peanut oil or ghee in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add and toast ¼ teaspoon each- cumin and mustard seeds.
3. When seeds start to pop, add the onion, and cook until translucent.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook on high heat until the tomatoes turn to soft. Press with a spatula and mush them.
5. To this tomato sauce, add the cooked chickpeas, pureed chickpea paste, chana masala powder, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and one to two cups of water. Stir to combine.
6. Have a taste and adjust the spice levels to your liking. Keep the heat on medium and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the curry thickened. (The curry should not spread like a flooding river when served on a plate.)
7. Just before turning off the heat, stir in finely chopped fresh cilantro and lime or lemon juice to taste.

Enjoy the chana masala with rice/roti (chapati) or with puris. Keep the leftovers refrigerated. The curry tastes very good next day.

Chole Batura - Chana Masala with Puris
Chole Batura – Chana masala with Puris.

How to prepare Puris : Recipe

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chickpeas,Tomato (Monday November 7, 2005 at 10:33 am- permalink)
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