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)
Comments (50)

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50 comments for Chana Masala (Chole Batura, Chickpeas Curry) »

  1. This *is* my favorite Indian food ever! mmmm. My sister-in-law taught me how to make it, she’s Punjabi and her version uses black tea. I always have the ingredients for this at home since it’s simple, nutritious and always welcome at our table! We cheat and make bhaturas from refrigerated pizza dough in the tubes, though, I can’t get Indian breads down yet! It’s my birthday today and guess what we’re going to have? You got it! Chole bhatura!

    Comment by Christy — November 7, 2005 @ 11:21 am

  2. Happy Birthday, Christy! Enjoy Chole Batura.:)

    Comment by Indira — November 7, 2005 @ 11:47 am

  3. This item is very good. The pictures of ingredients and the ‘Chana Masala’ are really mouthwatering. These worked as appetizers and I had to leave for lunch early since I couldn’t wait after seeing these pictures and reading the post.

    Comment by VJ — November 7, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

  4. this recipe seems to be really tasty..i usually grind ginger, garlic,few peppercorns,green chilli, 2 cloves, a small piece of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of cooked channa for paste, and use tomatoes, onions, 1/2 tsp of badshah channa masala, 1/4 tsp of garam masala ( so that its not too spicy ) and cooked channa and add the paste and make the gravy… i gotta try ur recipe ..

    Comment by priya — November 7, 2005 @ 2:51 pm

  5. Oh, I love channa masala, too.

    Happy birthday, Christy–I promise that the next time I make channa masala, I will post the recipe I use for bhatura–it isn’t hard at all. Neither are pooris–which I haven’t made in a while, either. Both of them are good with channa masala, though.

    Indira–you have made me wish I had some chickpeas soaked!

    Comment by Barbara — November 7, 2005 @ 3:55 pm

  6. Thanks Barbara. I have made bhaturas a few times from scratch but I like the way that seems to be more common in South Indian restaurants where they are huge and thin like balloons – like pooris. The recipes I’ve made are always thicker. I’m always game to try new things. I’m taking the Wilton cake decorating classes now, but have promised my husband that when these are finished I’m going to focus on Indian breads!

    Comment by Christy — November 7, 2005 @ 6:02 pm

  7. The bhatura I make are more like the Pakistani ones–thicker and breadier–almost like a deep-fried naan. However, they do inflate rather like pooris.

    I am learning more and more about South Indian cooking by reading here–most of my experience is in the cuisines of the North.

    Now, I will have to try and find a recipe for Southern style bhatura!

    Comment by Barbara — November 7, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

  8. I adore channa masala (though we call it chole in my family). It was the first thing I learned to cook from my mum. I also make a paste of chickpeas and stir it in- makes all the difference doesnt it? Looks yummy!

    Comment by tanvi — November 8, 2005 @ 3:00 am

  9. Looks delicious. I add finely chopped onions and half-a-chilli (finely chopped) at the end.

    Comment by ammani — November 8, 2005 @ 6:11 am

  10. Hi Priya.. Only this curry, I prefer without the ginger-garlic paste.

    Barbara.. I don’t think there is much difference between South/North Indian pooris/bhaturas. Maybe their size vary, that’s all. 🙂

    Make a dough of atta(Kind of wheat flour available in Indian grocery, any brand will do), salt and water. Let it rest for 30 t 60 minutes, covered. Divide the dough into small rounds. Roll out, uniformly thick(Not too thin, not too thick)round shapes of medium size.
    I ususally make the dough for pooris a little bit tighter(adding just enough water) than for chapatis. Made in this way, when pressed they can hold their shape and in hot oil – raise into perfect balloon like and also they don’t soak up toomuch oil.

    Comment by Indira — November 8, 2005 @ 11:38 am

  11. Indira –

    My husband (from Delhi) told me that the bhaturas in his home (and in food stalls/rests. in the north) are much doughier than the really thin, balloonish ones we get when we eat at the South Indian restaurants in the US.

    I don’t really care, I like them all! What’s not to like about fried bread? But it seems like the South Indian ones have more artistry going into them – it’s so enticing!

    Comment by Christy — November 8, 2005 @ 3:47 pm

  12. I always thought bhaturas are made using the following recipe – Maida – 1 kg, sooji (rawa) – 100 gms, salt, curd – ½ kg, soda – 20 gms, sugar – 20 gms and oil – 100 ml. Mix all ingredients and make a dough( harder than the chapathi dough ). Keep the dough in a cool place for one hour before using it.(This is the typical delhi style bhaturas )
    Both north and south indians make pooris using whole wheat flour or all purpose flour.bhaturas are best with chole .

    Comment by priya — November 8, 2005 @ 4:00 pm

  13. The bhaturas I learned to make from both my Pakistani friends and a man from Punjab are made from a yeast dough and are puffy and thick–not thin like pooris.

    They do blow up like balloons like pooris, so you can fill the hollow with channa masala if you want, and eat it out of hand.

    This is one of the things I love about the foods of India–the great variation in recipes from region to region and sometimes family to family. The many different ways to make aloo methi are fascinating to me to research, cook and most importantly, eat!

    Comment by Barbara — November 8, 2005 @ 4:17 pm

  14. That looks delicious. My puris never puff…

    My MIL makes bhaturas with maida and yogurt. They seem whiter and are of course, really BIG.

    Comment by mahashankar123 — November 8, 2005 @ 7:48 pm

  15. Excellent recipe – and same for all the others you post here too. I agree with one of the commenters above – best eaten with bhatura – or as part of chaat with imli and broken samosa. Some other thoughts to add to the discussion:

    We make bhatura at home with regular atta, bit of oil and yoghurt – with some jeera seeds thrown in too – they indeed puff up just like puris when fried. Also – a sometimes used Punjabi variant of channa masala uses small potato chunks too – and is a little more liquidy – and the way to thicken the end result a bit is to crush a few cooked potato. Also – like someone said above – throwing in some finely chopped red onion and chopped green chillie at the end gives it that extra pizzazz!

    Also – agree with the point about South Indian bhaturas being a lot thinner than North – I have experienced this in London South Indian restuarants – but I agree that they are all very tasty anyhow!

    Comment by Jag — November 9, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

  16. It came out very well. It was tasting yum with the chickpeas paste added to it. It was a big hit at my home. Thanks

    Indira says
    Priya, thanks for trying out this recipe, it’s always a pleasure for me to hear that you and your family enjoyed this dish.

    Comment by Priya — November 10, 2005 @ 8:04 pm

  17. hey indira, i tried channa masala this afternoon with poori .. it was really tasty and finally atleast this looked like what u have shown in the pic .. i diluted it a little bit ..i bet this recipe is best with badshah channa masala .. i dont buy shan channa masala coz it toooooooooo spicy.. i bought it once and the started sticking to badshah .. thanx for sharing the recipe .. and i tried ur peanut chutney again yday with sambar and idlis …i know its silly and so dumb of me to use clove instead of garlic

    Comment by priya, ar — November 13, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

  18. thank q so much for submitting such a wonderful and delicious receipe. it came out pretty well and once again thank q.

    Indira replies:
    You are welcome, Chandana. I’m glad it turned out well and thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.

    Comment by chandana — March 16, 2006 @ 8:20 am

  19. do any of you have problems eating channa? whever i eat it, i am very bloated and gassy the next day . mum told me adding hing helps… any tips?????? i love channa so much!

    Comment by sarah — March 23, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

  20. Great recipe, Indira. Thanks. I like this one a lot. By the way I tried making my own chana masala powder using this recipe: … in your opinion, is this recipe fairly authentic/standard? My results were good.

    Indira replies:
    Hello Jonny, the kind Punjabi neighbour I was talking about in Palak Paneer recipe, she wrote down the chana masala powder recipe for me, in addition to others. (I didn’t ask, but she wrote a lnotebook full of her favorite Punjabi recipes for me.)
    In addition to the ingredients listed in that recipe circus link, she also added pomegranate seeds.
    The ingredients she listed for chana masala powder are – cumin, coriander seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, pomegranate seeds and amchoor powder. Almost same as the recipe you tried.
    So chana masala for long weekend?

    Comment by Jonny — April 16, 2006 @ 8:00 pm

  21. yours is the best recipe site i have come across on the net.even my husband has tried his hand at cooking after reading your detailed recipes in this site.thankyou.

    Comment by maya — May 16, 2006 @ 2:54 am

  22. thanks . Its nice

    Comment by Anonymous — May 17, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

  23. wow thanks a lot for d recipe.i reilly love chole batura n wen ever i go to an indian restaurant i prefer diz item.and now dat i have got a chance to prepare it at home i surely should convey my thanks to u.

    thanks a lot
    swati krishna

    Comment by swati krishna — May 19, 2006 @ 6:29 pm

  24. its just too good.
    Really a mouth watering recipe..

    Comment by misbah — May 26, 2006 @ 12:58 am

  25. Terrific Thali at Mother India

    On Thursday night I went to check out Mother India, a new restaurant that opened a couple week ago in Parkdale near Queen and Lansdowne. At 9pm the place was pretty quiet, save for a table of four and the…

    Trackback by BlogTO — June 25, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

  26. A belated thanks to you, Indira. I’m going to make this recipe tonight with homemade chana masala powder, and I’ll include pom. seeds too.

    Comment by Evil Jony — July 14, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

  27. […] homemade lunches: methi mushrooms and Indira’s yummy chana masala with rice […]

    Pingback by Out Of The Garden » Methi Mushrooms — August 16, 2006 @ 12:38 am

  28. Dear Indira,

    I tried your channa recipe to serve with bhaturas & it was a instant hit at my home. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Comment by Kate — November 10, 2006 @ 7:42 pm

  29. Hi there,

    You Chana Batura receipe is really yummy…thanks


    Comment by sanjana — January 1, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

  30. The most delicious food on the planet. Guys wat r u doing there.Eat this food.Masti ho jao

    Comment by peek a boo — February 6, 2007 @ 4:23 am

  31. Cooked this yesterday with Phulkas and turned out so… delicious. Thanks for giving so many fool proof recipes, that too with minimal masalas and short cooking time.

    Comment by Nandtiha — May 17, 2007 @ 2:41 am

  32. i think u can help me im doing a food tech assignment for school and i am just wondering what are do you serve as accompaniments with this dish? can you plz help thanks jack

    Comment by jack — May 19, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

  33. For one that is ignorant of Indian cooking, please tell me what proportions of cumin and mustard seed I should add to this recipe.

    Thank you.

    Hello Debi:
    I added the amounts in the recipe after reading your comment. Please check it out and please do not hesitate to comment if you have any questions. Thanks and happy chana masala making.
    – Indira

    Comment by debi — October 7, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

  34. came out very well……thank you very much for sharing this mouth watering recipe…

    Comment by Dhanya Hari — October 11, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

  35. Hi,
    Excellent recipe, But dint get Y do u use a tea bag when cooking channa??? any specific reason for tht??

    Comment by iseri — November 15, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  36. Hi i just cooked this.. not bad but still not as good as the one i get from the local indian resturaunt… how do they get it to taste so good?

    Comment by dion — November 24, 2007 @ 12:38 am

  37. Awesome! Tastes great! Why do we add the teabag?

    Comment by Usha — November 24, 2007 @ 8:56 am

  38. This is so good. I still don’t get why we add the teabag. Thank You for this fantastic recipe!

    Comment by Usha — November 24, 2007 @ 8:59 am

  39. can you use canned chick peas instead?

    Comment by rosie — December 4, 2007 @ 8:42 am

  40. Hi there

    I need a serving size and Yield (nutritional value) for this recipe. I am going to use it at healty food competition at my work.



    Comment by Purvi — January 16, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  41. I tried with this recipe. It came very delecious. Thanks

    Comment by rohini — February 15, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  42. […] Mahanandi’s Chana Masala […]

    Pingback by Chana Masala & Rajma - From Scratch! « Maninas: Food Matters — March 10, 2008 @ 2:05 am

  43. it’s delecious.thanks

    Comment by sheetal — March 26, 2008 @ 9:30 am

  44. The tea bag is used to add some colour to the channa :>

    Comment by Anng — January 21, 2009 @ 12:10 pm


    HATS OFF!!!


    Comment by saf — May 19, 2009 @ 2:53 am

  46. […] One last note. After Friday’s lament about too much dairy, I came across these ten vegan breakfast ideas on The Kitchn. I’m digging the Idli idea, and this recipe from one of my favorite indian cooking bloggers, Mahanandi, who also has a killer recipe for chana masala. Perhaps I’ll be back to my vegan mojo real soon, but not until I finish up all the cottage cheese and milk in the fridge. […]

    Pingback by A Day in the Life: Farinata Forever | SmarterFitter — April 11, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

  47. Hi

    If i am using canned chick peas, do i need to pressure cook them?

    Comment by Anju — June 2, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

  48. tried this receipe for the first time. came out well. thanks for posting. Nice presentation.

    Comment by Akila — September 1, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  49. […] by Vardhini on May 15, 2011 in Gravies, Indian, Side Dishes | 26 comments Pin ItThis is one comforting dish which goes well with any Indian bread. This dish  brings mememories of childhood where my aunt used to make it for us. Since this was a very rare dish in our house we used to wait patiently for the treat. There are tons of ways of making this dish and this one from Mahanandi is a no-fuss method according to me. After starting out with various methods where we have to grind this and that I finally settled for this method. If you already have cooked channa then this is very easy to put together. Lets get started on this popular dish. […]

    Pingback by Channa(Chole) Masala and Awards | Cooks Joy — April 5, 2012 @ 12:02 am

  50. […] […]

    Pingback by Chana Curry Recipe | Search For Recipe — September 10, 2014 @ 9:18 am

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